Sweetened drinks may increase heart failure risk in men

9th November 2015

High consumption of sweetened drinks may increase the risk for heart failure in middle-aged and older men, says a Swedish study.

The study followed over 42,000 men aged between 45 and 79 for nearly 12 years. Researchers said that the sweetened drinks included soft drinks, sweetened fruit juices and those with artificial no-calorie sweeteners, but not natural fruit juices.

Those reporting consuming two or more sweetened drinks daily had an increased hazard ratio for heart failure relative to those reporting no such drinks in their diets, said Dr  Susanna Larsson of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and colleagues, writing in the journal Heart.

During the study investigators identified 4,113 incident cases of heart failure (3,604 with first hospital admissions and 509 deaths).

The researchers said the results could be connected to known links between sweetened drinks and glucose levels, concentrations of insulin, inflammation in the body and risk factors for diabetes,heart disease or stroke.

The findings reflected adjustment for a host of other potential variables including education, smoking, physical activity, personal and family histories of disease, and other dietary factors. However, the observational study cannot prove a causal link, the investigators noted.

The researchers said the results could have implications for heart failure prevention strategies.

Clinicians should advise patients to reduce or eliminate their consumption of sweetened beverages, replacing them with water for good hydration, it was suggested.