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Study Finds Link Between Sugary Drinks and Heart Attacks

Posted on Apr 06, 2012

According to a March 2012 report, men who drink sugared beverages may be increasing their risk of coronary heart disease. The study, conducted by Frank Hu, MD, PhD, a member of the staff at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, was conducted on male healthcare professionals. 

The results might surprise many people – those who drank an average of 6.5 sugary drinks per week were 20% more likely to have a heart attack than men who never drank them. There was no significant risk found for those who drank artificially sweetened beverages.

According to the authors of the study, “These results, as well as those from other observational studies and trials, support recommendations to reduce the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in order to prevent cardiovascular disease.”

Hu and his team looked at the results of a 1986 study of mostly white men aged 40 – 75. Those results were compared to the current look at 42,883 participants. The findings “suggest that sugar-sweetened beverages may impact on coronary heart disease risk above and beyond traditional risk factors.”

Hu also reported that for each additional sweetened beverage consumed each day, the risk of coronary heart disease was 19% greater. The current findings correspond to the findings of a Nurses’ Health Study of women, which found that with each serving increase came a 15% greater risk. 

The American Beverage Association responded to these findings with a statement that said, “Drinking sweetened beverages does not cause an increased risk of heart disease—not based on this study or any other study in the available science.”


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John L. Keefe
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