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Sugar sweetened soda linked to seropositive rheumatoid arthritis

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Tuesday July 22, 2014 (foodconsumer.org) -- A new study suggests that consumption of sugar sweetened soda could significantly increase risk of seropositive rheumatoid arthritis, but not the risk of seronegative rheumatoid arthritis, in U.S. women.

The study shows that U.S. women who consumed one or more servings of sugar sweetened soda per day were at 63% more likely to develop seropositive rheumatoid arthritis, compared with those who did not drink the beverage or consumed less than one serving per day.

Sugar-sweetened soda consumption has been consistently correlated in previous studies with an elevated risk of chronic inflammatory diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. 

For the study, researchers analyzed data from 79,000 women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study (NHS; 1980-2008) and 107,330 women in the NHS II (1991-2009). Consumption of sugar sweetened soda was surveyed every four years using a validated food frequency questionnaire.

The study also shows that among older women (after age 55 years), the association was much stronger, that is, those who used one or more servings sugar sweetened soda per day were 164% more likely to develop RA, compared with those who did not use the beverage or used less than one serving per day.
 
No association was found between sugar sweetened soda consumption and risk of seronegative rheumatoid arthritis.  And no association was observed either between diet soda consumption and risk of rheumatoid arthritis, regardless of sero-type.

The study concluded "Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened soda, but not diet soda, is associated with increased risk of seropositive RA (Rheumatoid arthritis) in women, independent of other dietary and lifestyle factors."  (David Liu)

Reference: Hu Y, Costenbader KH, Gao X, Al-Daabil M, Sparks JA, Solomon DH, Hu FB, Karlson EW, Lu B.  Sugar-sweetened soda consumption and risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis in women.  Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jul 16.

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