Impact of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages on Blood Pressure

Published:February 14, 2014DOI:
      The impact of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) on blood pressure (BP) has been debated, with some evidence suggesting that their increased intake is related to higher risk of developing hypertension. We conducted a systematic review exploring the relation between consumption of SSB and BP. A comprehensive search in 5 electronic databases along with a bibliography search was performed. The keywords “sugar sweetened beverages,” “sugary drinks,” “added sugars,” “blood pressure,” and “hypertension” were indexed in all combinations. Studies were included that reported the effects of intake of SSBs on BP. We excluded studies with <100 subjects and those involving subjects aged <12 years. Of 605 potentially relevant studies, a total of 12 studies (409,707 participants) met our inclusion criteria; 6 were cross sectional studies, whereas the rest were prospective cohort studies. All 12 studies showed positive relation between increased SSB intake and hypertension; however, statistical significance was reported in 10 of these studies. Of the 12 studies, 5 reported an increase in mean BP whereas 7 reported an increase in the incidence of high BP. In conclusion, our systematic review shows that the consumption of SSBs is associated with higher BP, leading to increased incidence of hypertension. Restriction on SSB consumption should be incorporated in the recommendations of lifestyle modifications for the treatment of hypertension. Interventions to reduce intake of SSBs should be an integral part of public health strategy to reduce the incidence of hypertension.
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      • Salt Intake, Sugar-Sweetened Soft Drink Consumption, and Blood Pressure
        American Journal of CardiologyVol. 114Issue 3
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          In their interesting review article, Malik et al1 do not seem to consider the underlying mechanism by which sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption is associated with increased blood pressure. For instance, there is clear evidence for a causal relation between salt intake and total fluid consumption,2 as well as sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption,3 an important and very relevant point that Malik et al failed to acknowledge. A carefully controlled metabolic study in adult humans in which salt intake was changed has quantified the relation between the change in salt intake and the subsequent change in fluid consumption.
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