Sugar-sweetened drinks tied to higher risk for early death

  • Malik VS & al.
  • Circulation
  • 18 Mar 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Intake of sugar-sweetened beverages is linked to increased cardiovascular mortality risk.
  • In women, risk is increased even with intake of ≥4 artificially sweetened drinks/day, but this intake is not associated with cancer mortality.

Why this matters

  • The authors say people should choose water instead.
  • An American Heart Association’s science advisory suggested that substituting artificially sweetened drinks was a way to start replacing sugar-sweetened beverages.

Key results

  • 3,415,564 person-years of follow-up. 
  • Pooled adjusted HRs for total mortality at various levels of sugary drink consumption (95% CIs):
    • 1-4/month: 1.01 (0.98-1.04).
    • 2-6/week: 1.06 (1.03-1.09).
    • 1-
    • ≥2/day: 1.21 (1.13-1.28; Ptrend<.0001>
  • And for cardiovascular mortality:
    • Adjusted HR for Ptrend<.0001.>
  • For cancer mortality:
    • Adjusted HR for Ptrend=.0004.
  • With intake of artificially sweetened drinks, Ptrend values for cardiovascular and total mortality in the cohort of women were .02 and .0001, respectively. 

Study design

  • Data from Nurses’ Health Study (80,647 women) and Health Professional's Follow-up Study (37,716 men). 
  • 34 and 28 years of follow-up, respectively.
  • Cox proportional hazards regression to estimate HRs.
  • Funding: NIH.

Limitations

  • The usual limitations of observational studies.