Soft drinks could increase heart attacks, strokes risk

fizzy-drinks-CopyFIZZY or rather soft drinks may be linked to a higher risk of heart attacks, researchers claim.

They say high consumption of carbonated soft drinks may lead to an increased rate of heart disease and strokes.

Japanese scientists looked at the drinking habits of 800,000 patients who had to be resuscitated after having a cardiac arrest out of hospital during a six-year period.

They asked the patients what they had spent on beverages, and found a link with heart attacks and the consumption of carbonated soft drinks.

However, there was no link with other drinks such as green tea, black tea, coffee, cocoa, fruit or vegetable juice, fermented milk and mineral water.

Professor Keijiro Saku, from Fukuoka University, presented the findings yesterday at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in London.

He said: “Carbonated beverages, or sodas, have frequently been demonstrated to increase the risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. The acid in carbonated beverages might play an important role in this association.”

Metabolic syndrome is the medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity that puts sufferers at greater risk of heart disease, stroke and other conditions affecting blood vessels.

However, Professor Saku admitted that his data on fizzy drink consumption was based on expenditure and “the association with out-of-hospital cardiac arrests is not causal.”

He added: “But the findings do indicate that limiting consumption of carbonated beverages could be beneficial for health.”

Gavin Partington, director general of the British Soft Drinks Association, said “The author of this study, which is neither peer-reviewed nor published, admits that the association is not causal. In fact, the report does not contain any evidence to show that drinking carbonated drinks causes out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.”

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