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Added sugar linked to cardiovascular disease death

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Sunday March 3, 2014 (foodconsumer.org) -- A new study in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that consumption of added sugar can increase the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. 

Frank B. Hu, MD, PhD from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts and colleagues conducted the study and found U.S. adults ate more added sugar than recommended in a healthy diet and high intake of added sugar was associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease death.

The study based on data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES, 1988-1994 [III], 1999-2004, and 2005-2010) revealed U.S. men and women ate 15.7% of total calories from added sugar in 1988 - 1994, compared to 16.8% in 1999 - 2004 and 14.9% in 2005 - 2010.  Most adults were found to consume more than 10% of total calories from added sugar.   During a 15-year follow-up, 831 men and women died from cardiovascular disease.

The study found those in the highest quintile of intake of added sugar were 143% more likely to die from cardiovascular disease, compared with those in the lowest quintile of intake of added sugar.

After adjustment for other risk factors such as sociodemographic, behavioral and health status, the risk for those in the highest  quintile of intake of added sugar was found 103% higher, compared with those in the lowest quintile of intake of added sugar.

Those who had 25% of total calories from added sugar were 175% more likely to die from cardiovascular disease, compared with those who ate 10% of total calories from added sugar.

Added sugar is used as a sweetener in processed foods and beverage. (David Liu)

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