Nav: Home

Energy drinks trigger abnormal heart rhythm, rise in blood pressure

March 02, 2016

A clinical trial led by researchers from University of the Pacific and David Grant Medical Center adds to the evidence that energy drinks may be bad for your heart. Results of the study will be presented today at a meeting of the American Heart Association in Phoenix, Arizona.

"Our findings suggest certain energy drinks may increase the risk of having an abnormal heart rhythm when consumed in high volumes," said primary investigator Sachin A Shah, an associate professor of pharmacy practice at Pacific's Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. "While we wait for more data, some consumers should exercise caution and not blindly follow the buzz."

Phillip Oppenheimer, dean and professor of pharmacy practice at Pacific, said the findings are of special concern among young adults. "Energy drinks are widely consumed within the college population, which further extends the relevance of this study," Oppenheimer said.

The study enrolled 27 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 40. Subjects drank either two cans of an energy drink, an equivalent volume of a drink containing panax ginseng (an ingredient in the energy drink), or a placebo beverage once a day, every six days, for three weeks. Neither the volunteers nor the researchers knew who was getting which drink until the end of the three weeks.

The researchers measured subjects' heart rhythm and blood pressure before the drinks were consumed and four times during the six hours immediately afterward.

The volunteers who consumed the energy drink experienced a statistically significant increase in a marker of abnormal heart rhythm risk known as the QTc interval. These volunteers also experienced a slight rise in blood pressure. These effects persisted for two hours after the energy drink was consumed.

In contrast, the ginseng and placebo groups showed no rises in QTc interval or blood pressure.

Shah noted that some drugs contain a warning in their package insert when the drug has been shown to prolong the QTc interval to a degree similar to that seen in the study (6 milliseconds).

Energy drinks have been associated with sudden deaths. As of June 2014, the Center for Science in Public Interest, a consumer health advocacy group, had collected reports of 34 deaths that may have been associated with energy drinks.

According to Shah, more research needs to be performed assessing the heart rhythm and blood pressure effects of energy drinks, especially in those with underlying cardiac conditions such as congenital long QT syndrome and hypertension.
-end-
The research was funded by a University of the Pacific Eberhardt Research Grant.

University of the Pacific

Related Blood Pressure Articles:

Arm cuff blood pressure measurements may fall short for predicting heart disease risk in some people with resistant high blood pressure
A measurement of central blood pressure in people with difficult-to-treat high blood pressure could help reduce risk of heart disease better than traditional arm cuff readings for some patients, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Hypertension 2019 Scientific Sessions.
Heating pads may lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure when lying down
In people with supine hypertension due to autonomic failure, a condition that increases blood pressure when lying down, overnight heat therapy significantly decreased systolic blood pressure compared to a placebo.
The Lancet Neurology: High blood pressure and rising blood pressure between ages 36-53 are associated with smaller brain volume and white matter lesions in later years
A study of the world's oldest, continuously-studied birth cohort tracked blood pressure from early adulthood through to late life and explored its influence on brain pathologies detected using brain scanning in their early 70s.
Blood pressure control is beneficial, is it not?
Until recently, physicians had generally assumed that older adults benefit from keeping their blood pressure below 140/90 mmHg.
The 'blue' in blueberries can help lower blood pressure
A new study published in the Journal of Gerontology Series A has found that eating 200g of blueberries every day for a month can lead to an improvement in blood vessel function and a decrease in systolic blood pressure in healthy people.
More Blood Pressure News and Blood Pressure Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...