Drinking just one fizzy soft drink per day could bump up the risk of stroke by up to 80 per cent, according to a research team studying the effects of such beverages on nearly 40,000 Japanese men and women.
All the participants were between the ages of 40 and 49, and though men also faced an increase in risk, theirs was far less drastic than that of women.
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition was conducted by a team of researchers from Japan and Egypt.
They said that not enough is yet known about soft drinks relative to stroke: “Soft drink intake has been associated with obesity and diabetes, but its relation with risk of cardiovascular disease is limited.”
The prospective study determined the soft drink intake among a group of 39,786 subjects whose intake was determined by using a self-administered food-frequency questionnaire. The research took place over 18 years.
“During 18 years of follow-up, we ascertained 453 incident cases of ischemic heart disease [IHD] and 1,922 cases of stroke, including 859 hemorrhagic and 1,047 ischemic strokes,” revealed the researchers. Ischemic is the most common type of stroke, caused by a blocked blood vessel to the brain
The researchers found that women who drank just the occasional soft drinks put themselves at a 21% increased risk for any kind of stroke. And those who drank fizzy beverages regularly had an 83% increased risk for an ischemic stroke. Men were also put at an increased risk for stroke, but only slightly.
On the other hand, soft drink consumption was not linked to an increase in ischemic heart disease or hemorrhagic stroke, which are caused by a blood vessel that bursts around the brain.
Earlier this year, FoodNavigator-USA reported how researchers at the Columbia University Medical Centre had found that consumers of diet soft drinks could also be at increased risk cardiovascular disease.
It found that individuals who drink diet soft drinks on a daily basis could be at a 43% increased risk of heart attack or stroke, although could ascertain no increase in risk from the consumption of regular soft drinks.
However, the lead researcher in this study, Hannah Gardener, cautioned that further research in the area was needed before any conclusions can be drawn regarding the potential health consequences of diet soft drink consumption.
Source: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
October17, 2012, doi: 10.3945/ ajcn.112.037903
“Soft drink intake in relation to incident ischemic heart disease, stroke, and stroke subtypes in Japanese men and women: the Japan Public Health Centre-based study cohort I.”
Authors: Ehab S Eshak, Hiroyasu Iso, Yoshihiro Kokubo, Isao Saito, Kazumasa Yamagishi, Manami Inoue and Shoichiro Tsugane.