Sugary Drinks and Sodas Linked to Heart Disease in Men

Drinking an average of 6.5 sweet drinks per week can increase your chance by 20 percent.

Posted: 03/16/2012 05:03 PM EDT

Fellas, how many sodas, fruit juices or energy drinks do you drink each day?

 

A recent study says you might want to cut back — sugary drinks may increase a man's chance of developing heart disease.

 

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed data over 22 years about what participants ate and their food habits along with blood samples they collected to check for cholesterol and sugar levels. The tests clearly indicated how sugar can lead to heart disease. They found that men who drink 6.5 sugary drinks on average per week have a 20 percent higher likelihood of having a heart attack than men who don't imbibe similar drinks.

 

So what is it about these drinks that harm the heart?

 

Time.com explains that the higher levels of sugar in the blood cause increased levels of inflammation and harmful fat in the blood, which are the usual indicators for heart disease. They wrote:

 

The increased risk of heart disease remained even after the scientists  accounted for other risk factors that could affect heart disease rates such as  smoking, physical inactivity, alcohol use and family history of heart disease.


Past research has found that sugary drinks play a role in increasing diabetes rates and the obesity epidemic in the U.S.

 

In a written statement, Dr. Frank Hu, the study's lead researcher, stated that this report should serve as a warning to the public. “This adds to the growing evidence that sugary beverages are detrimental to our health. There should be a concerted effort to reduce sugary beverage consumption in our population."

And while the study focuses on men, past research found women are at risk, too — diet drinks are not great for anyone to have too much of either.

 

It’s important to note that just because the majority of men in this particular study were white, it doesn’t mean these findings don't pertain to us. This news is particularly important to African-Americans, because it's pretty well documented we disproportionately suffer from diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Drinking fewer sugary, high-calorie drinks can save lives.

 

African-American adults are 40 percent more likely to have high blood pressure, and they are 10 percent less likely than white Americans to have their blood pressure under control, according to the Office of Minority Health. Unfortunately, African-American men are also 30 percent more likely to die from heart disease than white men.

 

Learn more about heart disease and prevention here.


BET Health News - We go beyond the music and entertainment world to bring you important medical information and health-related tips of special relevance to Blacks in the U.S. and around the world.

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