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Soda consumption

Soda Consumption Linked to Heart Disease

Monday, February 04, 2008 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: soda consumption, soft drinks, health news

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(NewsTarget) Drinking one or more carbonated beverages per day may increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, according to a new study published in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association.

"We were struck by the fact that it didn't matter whether it was a diet or regular soda that participants consumed," said lead author Ramachandran Vasan, of the Boston University School of Medicine.

The research was conducted as part of the ongoing Framingham Heart Study, a large-scale, multigenerational study that began in 1948 and continues today with the grandchildren of the original participants. Scientists conducted 9,000 "person observations" of middle-aged women and men over a four-year period.

Participants who consumed one or more sodas daily were 48 percent more likely to have metabolic syndrome than those who consumed less. Among those who did not begin the study with metabolic syndrome, regular soda drinkers were 44 percent more likely to develop the syndrome than those who drank less than one soda per day.

Metabolic syndrome is the name given to a series of linked symptoms that are correlated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Drinking one or more carbonated beverages per day was also correlated with an increase in these symptoms: a 32-percent higher chance of having low HDL levels; a 31-percent higher risk of becoming obese; a 30-percent higher chance of increased waist circumference; and a 25-percent greater chance of having increased blood triglycerides or fasting hyperglycemia.

Additional data from questionnaires filled out by a separate group of participants showed a 50- to 60-percent higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome among regular soda drinkers.

The researchers cautioned that while their study demonstrated a clear correlation between soda drinking and metabolic syndrome, it was not set up to prove causality. However, the researchers did adjust for a variety of dietary and lifestyle factors, including smoking and exercise, and found that the correlation remained strong.

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