Sugary Beverages Could Increase Heart Disease Risk In Women
November 14, 2011

Sugary Beverages Could Increase Heart Disease Risk In Women

Drinking at least two sugary drinks each day could result in an increased risk of heart disease in adult women, whether or not they gain weight as a result of the beverages, according to research presented Sunday at an American Heart Association conference in Orlando, Florida.

Shari Roan of the Los Angeles Times reports that the study has discovered that women between the ages of 45 and 84 who consume two or more sugar-sweetened drinks on a daily basis were four times more likely to develop high triglycerides as those who drank one or fewer sodas, sweetened flavored waters, or similar types of beverages.

Furthermore, according to an article by Lauren Cox of My Health News Daily, the researchers, led by University of Oklahoma Assistant Professor of Epidemiology Christina Shay, discovered that of the 4,166 women they studies, those who consumed two or more sugary beverages each day were also "more likely to develop abnormal levels of fasting glucose, a sign they could be developing diabetes."

"Most people assume that individuals who consume a lot of sugar-sweetened drinks have an increase in obesity, which in turn, increases their risk for heart disease and diabetes," Shay, a former member of the Northwestern University Department of Preventive Medicine in Chicago, where the study was conducted, said in a statement Sunday. "Although this does occur, this study showed that risk factors for heart disease and stroke developed even when the women didn't gain weight."

The study participants were all members of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), which had African-American, Caucasian, Chinese-Americans and Hispanic adults between the ages of 45 and 84 complete food frequency surveys over the course of a five-year period. None of the participants had cardiovascular disease when the study began.

Despite the results of the study, Shay and her associates have not yet been able to discern exactly how these sugar-sweetened beverages cause cardiovascular risk factors like triglyceride levels to increase without associated weight gain. However, she noted in a November 13 press release that they did intend to seek the answer to that mystery in future studies.


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