Home Medizin Künstlich gesüßte Getränke erhöhen das Risiko eines unregelmäßigen Herzschlags: Studie

Künstlich gesüßte Getränke erhöhen das Risiko eines unregelmäßigen Herzschlags: Studie

von NFI Redaktion

A study found that consuming artificially sweetened beverages increases the risk of atrial fibrillation, a heart condition that leads to irregular heartbeat.

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) can lead to blood clots in the heart and increase the risk of strokes, heart failure, and other heart-related complications. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 12.1 million people in the United States will suffer from atrial fibrillation by 2030.

Previous studies have shown a link between the risk of cardiovascular disease and sugary beverages. In the latest study, researchers investigated the associations between the consumption of sugary beverages, artificially sweetened beverages, and pure fruit juice, and the risk of atrial fibrillation.

According to results published in the journal „Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology“ by the American Heart Association, consuming two or more liters of artificially sweetened beverages per week increases the risk of heart disease by 20%.

However, the researchers could not confirm whether sweetened beverages caused atrial fibrillation, but the association remained even after taking genetic susceptibility to the condition into account.

The study was based on dietary questionnaires and genetic data from over 200,000 adults in the UK Biobank. Participants did not have atrial fibrillation at the time of their enrollment in the study. During the nearly ten-year follow-up period, 9,362 participants developed the disease.

„Our study shows that consuming more than two liters (about 67 ounces) of sugar-sweetened beverages per week is associated with a 10% risk of atrial fibrillation compared to non-consumers, independent of traditional risk factors. The number rises to 20% for people who consume more than two liters of artificially sweetened beverages per week, exceeding the risk associated with consuming the same amount of sugar-sweetened beverages,“ said lead study author Ningjian Wang.

In addition, the researchers found other interesting findings:

  • Drinking 1 liter or less of pure fruit juice per week is associated with an 8% lower risk of atrial fibrillation.
  • People who drink both sugar-sweetened beverages and pure juice have an overall higher sugar intake.
  • Individuals who consume larger amounts of artificially sweetened beverages are typically female, younger, have a higher BMI, and a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, those who opt for sugar-sweetened beverages are more likely to be male, younger, have an elevated BMI, a history of heart disease, and a lower socioeconomic status.
  • Smoking increases the risk of atrial fibrillation, as smokers consuming more than two liters of sugary beverages per week are exposed to a 31% higher risk of atrial fibrillation.

„The results of our study cannot definitively conclude that one beverage poses a greater health risk than another, as our diet is complex and some people may consume more than one type of beverage. However, based on these results, we recommend that people reduce or even avoid artificially sweetened and sugar-sweetened beverages if possible. Do not assume that drinking sugar- and calorie-free, artificially sweetened beverages is healthy, as it may pose potential health risks,“ Wang said.

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