Sugary Drinks, Soda Linked to High Blood Pressure

Sugary drinks, including sweetened sodas and fruit drinks, have been linked to <"">high blood pressure, according to a new study. The research suggests reducing sugar and salt intake to reduce cardiac risks, said Reuters, noting that hypertension—high blood pressure—is a significant risk factor for cardiac disease.

The study results appear this week in the journal Hypertension.

The study included data from 2,696 volunteers between the ages of 40 and 59 from eight locations in the United States and two locations in Britain. Over a three-week period the participants were asked to report what they’d eaten in the prior 24 hours and had to provide urine samples and undergo blood pressure tests, said Reuters.

The study revealed that for each can of sugary drink ingested daily, participants experienced increased systolic blood pressure by about 1.6 mmHg as well as an increased diastolic reading by about 0.8 mmHg, said Reuters. The difference, considered “significant,” was present even after weight and height factors were adjusted.

In addition to the blood pressure link, the team also found that people who drink more sugary beverages also seemed to have unhealthy dietary habits overall, explained Reuters. And the link was strongest in those who also consumed higher quantities of salt, along with sugar, said Reuters, confirming existing findings that higher salt intake is linked to increased blood pressure.

Not surprisingly, the American Beverage Association (ABA) said that findings were “inconsequential,” quoted Reuters.

We recently wrote that diet sodas, long believed to be safer to physical health than their sugary counterparts, were potentially linked to heart and vascular problems. A study recently suggested that diet soda health risks could impact heart and brain health. The study was presented at the American Stroke Association’s (ASA) International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles, California, and discussed how the research team followed over 2,500 New Yorkers for at least nine years.

“People who had diet soda every day experienced a 61 percent higher risk of vascular events than those who reported drinking no soda,” said lead investigator Dr Hannah Gardener, an epidemiologist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, speaking to reporters attending a news conference at the ASA event, quoted HeartWire Over the average 9.3 year follow-up, 559 participants experienced vascular events, including ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes, said HeartWire.

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