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Home Industry News Cola may increase hypertension risk

Cola may increase hypertension risk

9th November 2005

Drinking large amounts of sugared and diet colas could lead to an increased risk of hypertension in women, according to new research.

Hypertension – a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, stroke and congestive heart failure – affects around 50 million people in the US, although studies into whether increased caffeine intake can adversely affect hypertension have so far been fairly inconclusive.

However, a new study conducted by researchers from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health in the US found that whilst coffee consumption did not lead to increased risk of hypertension, associations were found with cola beverages.

The study examined 32,987 incident cases of hypertension in females over 12 years, using data from the Nurses’ Health Studies I and II.

“We found strong evidence to refute speculation that coffee consumption is associated with an increased risk of hypertension in women,” the authors wrote in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The authors admit that – as previous studies have shown – coffee intake does increase blood pressure in the short term, yet this effect weakens over time.

“We speculate that it is not caffeine but perhaps some other compound contained in soda-type soft drinks that may be responsible for the increased risk in hypertension,” the authors write.

“If these associations are causal, they may have considerable impact on public health.”

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