Energy drinks pose possible heart hazards

  • Shah SA & al.
  • J Am Heart Assoc
  • 4 Jun 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Consumption of energy drinks may pose a risk for BP spikes of 4-5 mmHg and cardiac electrical disturbances that last for hours, according to results from this small randomized trial. 
  • Granola bar requests are also higher following energy drink consumption.
  • Caution patients with long QT syndrome, say the authors.

Why this matters

  • Earlier findings have suggested changes in QT interval with consumption of these drinks.
  • These authors found effects regardless of energy drink brand.

Key results

  • With consumption of an energy drink, specific QT intervals were higher at different times vs placebo (all significant P values).
  • 2 participants had a 50-ms change from baseline in 1 QT measure after the drink.
  • Systolic and diastolic BP increased significantly (P<.001>
  • More participants in the energy drink group requested granola bars during the observation window.

Study design

  • Randomized, placebo-controlled study with 34 participants, ages 18-40 years.
  • They drank 32 ounces of energy drink (304-320 mg caffeine) or placebo on 3 different days during a 60-minute period.
  • BP, ECG measures taken.
  • Funding: University of the Pacific.

Limitations

  • No long-term outcomes.
  • Very small study.