Drinking carbonated beverages is associated with increased risk of fatal cardiovascular disease, a new Japanese study has found.
The study in nearly 800,000 patients in Japan suggests that limiting consumption of carbonated beverages may be beneficial for health.
“Carbonated beverages, or sodas, have frequently been demonstrated to increase the risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease (CVD), such as subclinical cardiac remodelling and stroke,” said principal investigator Keijiro Saku, Dean and professor of cardiology at Fukuoka University in Japan.
“However, until now the association between drinking large amounts of carbonated beverages and fatal CVD, or out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) of cardiac origin, was unclear,” Saku said.
The study compared the age-adjusted incidence of OHCAs to the consumption of various beverages per person between 2005 and 2011 in the 47 prefectures of Japan.
It included 797,422 patients who had OHCAs of cardiac and non-cardiac origin.
Data on the consumption of the various beverages per person was obtained from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan, using expenditure on beverages as a proxy measure.
The analysis focused on the 785,591 OHCA cases that received resuscitation, of which 435,064 (55.4 per cent) were of cardiac origin and 350,527 (44.6 per cent) were of non-cardiac origin.
Those of non-cardiac origin included cerebrovascular disease (4.8 per cent), respiratory disease (6.1 per cent), malignant tumour (3.5 per cent), and exogenous disease (18.9 per cent).
The researchers found that expenditures on carbonated beverages were significantly associated with OHCAs of cardiac, but not non-cardiac origin.
Expenditures on other beverages, including green tea, black tea, coffee, cocoa, fruit or vegetable juice, fermented milk beverage, milk and mineral water were not significantly associated with OHCAs of cardiac origin.
“Carbonated beverage consumption was significantly and positively associated with OHCAs of cardiac origin in Japan, indicating that beverage habits may have an impact on fatal CVD,” said Saku.
“The acid in carbonated beverages might play an important role in this association,” said Saku.
“Our data on carbonated beverage consumption is based on expenditure and the association with OHCA is not causal,” said Saku.
“But the findings do indicate that limiting consumption of carbonated beverages could be beneficial for health,” said Saku.