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Soft Drinks Increase Your Chance of Stroke

Drinking two fewer glasses of soft drinks could reduce the risk of dying of a stroke by eight per cent and coronary heart disease by five per cent, an American study revealed.

Drinks laced with sugars has long been linked to a greater risk of obesity and diabetes but the effect of the sweet beverages on blood pressure had been uncertain.

"Our findings suggest that reducing sugar-sweetened beverages and sugar consumption may be an important dietary strategy to lower blood pressure and further reduce other blood pressure-related diseases,

"It has been estimated that a 3-millimetres of mercury (mm Hg) reduction in systolic blood pressure should reduce stroke mortality by 8 percent and coronary heart disease mortality by 5 percent.

"Such reductions in systolic blood pressure would be anticipated by reducing sugar-sweetened beverages consumption by an average of 2 servings per day."

Researchers sampled 810 adults aged between 25 and 79 with a prehypertension of between 120/80 and 139/89 mm Hg and stage I hypertension of between 140/90 and 159/99 mm Hg.

Over 18 months the study look at weight loss, exercise, and a healthy diet as a means to prevent and control high blood pressure.

At the start each drank on average 10.5 fluid ounces of sugary drinks - equivalent to one glass.

Art the end they drank the equivalent of half a glass and both systolic blood pressure - the pressure when the heart beats - and diastolic blood pressure - the pressure between beats - had declined significantly.

After controlling for known risk factors of blood pressure, the analysis found that a reduction of one serving per day of the sugary drink saw a 1.8 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg) drop in systolic pressure and a 1.1 mm Hg decline in diastolic pressure over 18 months.

Weight loss was a factor but the change in blood pressure was statistically significant.

Dr Chen added: "Although this study was conducted among mostly overweight adults and many with hypertension, webelieve that others will benefit by reducing the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.

"However, such evidence from humans is lacking, and we plan to conduct such research among non-hypertensive individuals."

The findings were published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

May 26, 2010


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