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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Sugary drinks linked to higher stroke risk





Women who imbibe sugary soft drinks almost every day are 83 percent more likely to have a certain type of stroke than women who rarely drink sodas and other sweetened beverages, according to a new study from Japan.

Although the findings don't prove that sweet drinks are to blame for the higher stroke risk, other studies have shown links between high sugar intake and clogged arteries, said Dr. Adam Bernstein, a researcher at the Cleveland Clinic, who was not involved in the study.

And "as the authors here saw, most of the (increased) risk was with ischemic stroke, the kind of stroke with plaque buildup" in the arteries, Bernstein said.

The results agree with a host of other studies tying sugary drinks to all sorts of untoward health effects, including heart attacks, obesity and diabetes.

Some governments have responded by trying to discourage people from choosing sweetened drinks, such as with tax proposals and New York's ban on super-sized sodas. Schools also have cut back on making sugary drinks available to students.

Given the increased availability of soft drinks in Japan over the past several decades, researchers, led by Dr. Hiroyasu Iso at Osaka University, wanted to see if soda drinkers there had also higher risks of heart disease and stroke.

Nearly 40,000 people answered a dietary, health and lifestyle questionnaire, first in 1990 and again in 1995 and 2000.

They split the people into four groups: those who rarely drank soft drinks, those who had one to two cups a week, those who had three to four cups a week, and those who had a soft drink nearly every day.

31/10/2012  :  Kerry Grens / Reuters.

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