Women who drink one or more sugary drinks a day are more than 20 percent more likely to be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, the researchers warn.
Compared with women who have never consumed sugary drinks – such as soft drinks, sweetened bottled water, or tea and fruit drinks with added sugar – those who consume one or more per day have a 26 percent higher risk of revascularization or angioplasty procedures to open arteries .
Study published in JAHA: Journal of the American Heart Association, also found that those who drank one or more sugary drinks. Women who drank had a 21 percent higher risk of suffering a stroke. “We hypothesize that sugar can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in several ways. “This increases glucose levels and insulin concentration in the blood, which can increase appetite and cause obesity, a major risk factor for heart disease,” said lead author of the study Cheryl Anderson of the University of California San Diego in the US.
The study involved more than 106,000 women, with an average age of 52 years, who had not been diagnosed with heart disease, stroke or diabetes when they enrolled in the study. The women reported how much and what they drank through the food questionnaire. Hospitalized records are used to determine whether a woman has had a heart attack, stroke or surgery to open a blocked artery.
Women with the highest intake of sugar-sweetened drinks are younger, more likely to become smokers today, obese and less likely to eat healthy foods, among others. There are also differences based on the types of drinks consumed by women. Drinking one or more fruit drinks added to sugar every day is associated with a 42 percent greater chance of having cardiovascular disease.
The findings show that drinking soft drinks like soda every day is associated with a 23 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease overall, compared with those who rarely or never drink sweet drinks. “Too much sugar in the blood is associated with oxidative stress and inflammation. “insulin resistance, unhealthy cholesterol profile and type 2 diabetes, conditions that are strongly associated with the development of atherosclerosis, a slow narrowing of the arteries that underlies most cardiovascular diseases,” Anderson said.
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