Sugary Beverages Increase Heart Disease Risk in Women

Women who drink two or more sugar-sweetened beverages a day may more likely prone for developing heart diseases and diabetes even though they are not putting an extra weight due to this habit, according to new study presented at American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2011,in Orlando, Florida.

According to study published in the journal Circulation,researchers revealed a possible link may be existed between sugar-sweetened drinks and risk for development of cardiovascular diseases such as ischemic heart disease, coronary artery disease and stroke in women. Study highlighted that women who drank two or more sugar beverages per day were four times as likely to have high triglyceride level as compared to women who drank one or less.

Even without Causing Weight Gain – Sugary Beverages Increase Heart Disease Risk

Such women showed significantly increase in waist circumference and tendency for impaired fasting blood glucose (IFG); a preliminary stage for development of type 2 diabetes. These possible links were observed even in lack of weight gain. But such co-relationships were not noticed in men.

In 2002, a team of researchers from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre conducted the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).They evaluated drinking pattern of 4166 men and women over the period of five years based on food frequency questionnaires and assessment of risk factors.

Study participants were in between 45-84 years age, belonged to different ethnic background and free from cardiovascular disease or diabetes during enrolment point. They were assessed for risk factors such as weight gain, increase in waist circumference, and increase in triglycerides level along with impaired fasting glucose level and development of type 2 diabetes during three follow-up exams.

From study population, researchers compared middle-aged and older women who drank two or more sugar-sweetened beverages, such as carbonated sodas or flavoured waters with added sugar, to women who drank one or less daily. Women who had habit of consuming large quantity of sugar-sweetened drinks showed high level of blood triglyceride, increased low density lipoprotein level (LDL or bad cholesterol) and low high density lipoprotein level (HDL or good cholesterol) and impaired fasting glucose.

Bearing of such parameters became well known risk factors for incidence of heart disease and development of diabetes but the risk existed even if women didn’t put too much weight. But such type of association was not found in men.

Dr. Christina Shay, lead author of the study said:

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.”

“Although this does occur, this study showed that risk factors for heart disease and stroke developed even when the women didn’t gain weight.”

Estimated calorie requirement of women is 5-10% lesser as compared to men due to lesser percentage of lean muscle tissues. Whatever excess calorie left in the body of women after high intake of sugar drinks is stored into fat. This may be the supposed reason for higher chance of developing cardiovascular disease risk factors in women drinking sugar-sweetened beverages. However, the study’s author and other researchers have not determine exactly howsugar drinks pose cardiovascular risk factors such as high triglycerides in individuals who lack gain weight.

Previous research has shown that soft drinks your risk of diabetes by 25%




Dr. Minakshi Welukar

I am Pune based medical doctor (M.B.B.S) and certified medical writer from InfocusRx, Hyderabad, working as a family physician and freelance medical writer for health magazines and websites. Five years of clinical experience faced me to handle variety of patients to get best possible results, keep up-to-date knowledge about new medicinal advances and build-up medical specialist and social contacts.

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