The list of health problems linked to consumption of sweetened beverages includes weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
Might heart failure — the inability of the heart to pump adequate amounts of blood — also be affected by sugary drinks?
THIS STUDY analyzed data on 42,400 middle-age and older men, most about 60 years old at the start of the study. None had had a heart attack or had heart failure or cancer, conditions that can lead to changes in food and drink consumption.
Over a period of about 12 years, 4,113 of the men were diagnosed and hospitalized with heart failure, including 509 who died from the condition. Men who reported drinking at least two sweetened beverages a day, not including fruit juice, were 23 percent more likely to have developed heart failure than were those who did not drink sweetened beverages.
WHO MAY BE AFFECTED? Men. Anyone, including children, can develop heart failure, but it occurs most often in people who are older than 65, are overweight or have had a heart attack. Blacks are more likely to develop heart failure than are people of other races. People with the condition have a heart that has been weakened from overwork, usually caused by such conditions as high blood pressure, coronary heart disease or diabetes.
CAVEATS Data on drink consumption came from the participants’ responses on a questionnaire. The analysis did not differentiate between sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened drinks. Whether the findings apply to women or younger people was not tested. All participants were white.
FIND THIS STUDY Nov. 2 online issue of Heart (heart.bmj.com; click on “Online First”).
The research described in Quick Study comes from credible, peer-reviewed journals.