Nav: Home

Sugary drinks may be associated with an increased risk of death from cardiovascular diseases

March 18, 2019

DALLAS, March 18, 2019 -- Frequently drinking sugar-sweetened drinks, such as sodas and sports drinks, was associated with an increased risk of death from cardiovascular diseases and, to a lesser extent, cancers, according to new research in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation.

Among study participants the risk of death rose as people drank more sugar-sweetened drinks. In addition, substituting one sugary drink a day with an artificially sweetened drink was associated with a slightly lower risk of dying, but drinking four or more artificially sweetened drinks a day was associated with a higher risk of death among women. This finding is not considered as strong as the association between sugary drinks and a potential link to an increased risk of death and needs to be confirmed with additional research.

"Drinking water in place of sugary drinks is a healthy choice that could contribute to longevity," said Vasanti Malik, Sc.D., lead author on the paper and a research scientist in the Department of Nutrition in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts. "Diet soda may be used to help frequent consumers of sugary drinks cut back their consumption, but water is the best and healthiest choice."

Although people have been drinking fewer sugary drinks in the United States in the past decade, soda and other sweetened drinks still represent the single largest source of added sugar in the U.S. diet and their consumption is on the rise around the world.

Much attention has been given to a potential link between soft drinks, weight gain and health problems related to weight gain such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. But few studies have examined whether sugar-sweetened beverages or artificially sweetened beverages can be linked to mortality.

The current study used data from two large-scale longitudinal studies to do just that. Researchers examined data from 37,716 men in the Health Professionals follow-up study and 80,647 women in the Nurses' Health Study. They controlled for other dietary factors, physical activity and body mass index so that any effect measured could be independently linked with sugar-sweetened beverages. It also examined the association between drinking artificially sweetened beverages and death.

The American Heart Association recently issued a science advisory on artificially sweetened drinks that concludes that for adults who are habitually high consumers of sugary drinks, low-calorie sweetened drinks (artificially sweetened) may be a useful replacement strategy to reduce intake of sugary drinks. This approach may be particularly helpful for persons who are habituated to a sweet-tasting drink as they transition to water.
-end-
Co-authors are Yanping Li, Ph.D.; An Pan, Ph.D.; Lawrence de Koning, Ph.D.; Eva Schernhammer, M.D., Dr.PH.; Walter Willett, M.D., Dr.PH.; and Frank Hu, M.D., Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The National Institutes of Health funded the study.

Additional Resources:

* Available multimedia located on the right column of the release link: https://newsroom.heart.org/news/sugary-drinks-may-be-associated-with-an-increased-risk-of-death-from-cardiovascular-and-other-causes?preview=f598a135de8c213411fc59fcc832cafe

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association's policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at https://www.heart.org/en/about-us/aha-financial-information.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

American Heart Association

Related Cardiovascular Disease Articles:

Is educational attainment associated with lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease?
Men and women with the lowest education level had higher lifetime risks of cardiovascular disease than those with the highest education level, according to a new study published by JAMA Internal Medicine.
Food policies could lower US cardiovascular disease rates
New research conducted by the University of Liverpool and partners shows that food policies, such as fruit and vegetable subsidies, taxes on sugar sweetened drinks, and mass media campaigns to change dietary habits, could avert hundreds of thousands of deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the United States.
Cardiovascular disease causes one-third of deaths worldwide
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including heart diseases and stroke, account for one-third of deaths throughout the world, according to a new scientific study that examined every country over the past 25 years.
Kidney disease is a major cause of cardiovascular deaths
In 2013, reduced kidney function was associated with 4 percent of deaths worldwide, or 2.2 million deaths.
Cardiovascular disease costs will exceed $1 trillion by 2035
A new study projects that by 2035, cardiovascular disease, the most costly and prevalent killer, if left unchecked, will place a crushing economic and health burden on the nation's financial and health care systems.
Prescribing drugs for cardiovascular disease prevention in the UK
Drugs such as statins that have the potential to prevent strokes and other types of cardiovascular disease have not been prescribed to a large proportion of people at risk in the UK, according to a research article by Grace Turner of the University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK and colleagues published in PLOS Medicine.
Fatty liver disease contributes to cardiovascular disease and vice versa
For the first time, researchers have shown that a bi-directional relationship exists between fatty liver disease and cardiovascular disease.
More dietary calcium may lower risk of cardiovascular disease
In older people, higher dietary calcium intake may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, but not of stroke and fracture, new research from South Korea suggests.
Renal hemodynamics and cardiovascular function in health and disease
The SRC will focus on unpublished work that is state-of-the-art in study of cardiovascular and renal disease and hypertension.
Cardiovascular disease in adult survivors of childhood cancer
For adult survivors of childhood cancer, cardiovascular disease presents at an earlier age, is associated with substantial morbidity, and is often asymptomatic.

Related Cardiovascular Disease Reading:

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

Digital Manipulation
Technology has reshaped our lives in amazing ways. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers reveal how what we see, read, believe — even how we vote — can be manipulated by the technology we use. Guests include journalist Carole Cadwalladr, consumer advocate Finn Myrstad, writer and marketing professor Scott Galloway, behavioral designer Nir Eyal, and computer graphics researcher Doug Roble.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#530 Why Aren't We Dead Yet?
We only notice our immune systems when they aren't working properly, or when they're under attack. How does our immune system understand what bits of us are us, and what bits are invading germs and viruses? How different are human immune systems from the immune systems of other creatures? And is the immune system so often the target of sketchy medical advice? Those questions and more, this week in our conversation with author Idan Ben-Barak about his book "Why Aren't We Dead Yet?: The Survivor’s Guide to the Immune System".