News ID: 130189
Published: 0359 GMT November 03, 2015

Sweetened drinks might raise risk of heart failure

Sweetened drinks might raise  risk of heart failure

People who regularly consume sodas or sweetened fruit drinks may have a higher risk for heart failure, researchers report.

In the study, Swedish men who drank two or more servings of sweetened beverages a day had a 23-percent higher risk of suffering heart failure, said lead author Susanna Larsson, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, HealthDay wrote.

"People who regularly consume sweetened beverages should consider reducing their consumption to lower their risk of heart failure as well as obesity and type 2 diabetes and possibly other diseases," Larsson said.

Sweetened drinks have been linked to stroke, diabetes, obesity and other health problems, but so far scant attention has been paid to the effects of excess sugar on heart health, said Dr. Christopher O'Connor, director of the Heart Center at Duke University School of Medicine.

Only about half of those diagnosed with heart failure are still alive five years later, researchers said in background material. More than 23 million people worldwide have heart failure, including about 5.8 million in the United States.

Soft drinks have been associated with an increased risk in high blood pressure and heart disease, so it makes sense that sweetened beverages might also increase the risk of heart failure, the researchers said.

Using national registry data, they tracked the health of 42,400 men living in two counties of Sweden between 1998 and 2010.

The men, aged 45 to 79, were asked to record their average consumption of 96 food and drink items over the preceding year. One serving of a sweetened drink was defined as 200 milliliters, or nearly seven ounces.

The questionnaire made no distinction between drinks sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners. Fruit juices, coffee and tea were not included in the study.

Over an average of 12 years of monitoring, more than 3,600 new cases of heart failure were diagnosed. More than 500 people died of the condition.

After accounting for other potential factors, researchers found that at least two servings of sweetened drinks a day increased heart failure risk by 23 percent, compared with people who consumed no soft drinks or sweetened beverages.



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