The report was published online March 14 in the journal Stroke.
For the study, Kokubo's team collected data on roughly 83,000 men and women, 45 to 74 years old, asking about how much green tea and coffee they drank.
Over the course of the study, the researchers kept track of hospital records, death certificates and data about deaths from heart disease and stroke.
During an average of 13 years of follow-up, they found that those who had at least one cup of coffee a day lowered their risk for stroke about 20 percent.
And, compared to people who rarely drank green tea, people who drank two to three cups a day had a 14 percent lower risk of stroke and people who drank at least four cups lowered their risk by 20 percent.
The risk for a type of stroke called a hemorrhagic stroke, in which a blood vessel in the brain bursts and blood floods part of the brain, was cut by 32 percent among those who drank a cup of coffee or two cups of green tea daily. About 13 percent of strokes are hemorrhagic strokes, the researchers noted.
To be sure their findings related to coffee and tea, Kokubo's group took into account factors such as age, sex, smoking, alcohol, weight, diet and exercise. People who drank green tea were more likely to exercise compared to non-drinkers, they noted.
To learn more about stroke, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
SOURCES: Yoshihiro Kokubo, M.D., Ph.D., chief doctor, department of preventive cardiology, National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, Osaka, Japan; Ralph Sacco, M.D., past president, American Heart Association, and chai
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