The same associations were not seen in men, which suggests that the factors responsible for the relationship between sugary drinks and cardiovascular disease differ between the sexes, Shay reported at the American Heart Association meeting here.
"Women exhibit lower energy requirements overall and they may be at elevated risk for ... cardiovascular risk factors when a greater proportion of calories is consumed in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages," she said at a press briefing.
Sugar-sweetened beverages have been associated with a host of health problems, including weight gain, obesity, hyperglycemia, type 2 diabetes and hypertension.
But, few of the studies have examined the relationships in ethnically diverse populations, Shay said; she and her colleagues turned to the “Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis” (MESA), in which 38% of the participants were non-Hispanic white, 28% were black, 22% were Hispanic, and 12% were Chinese American.
All 4,166 men and women included in the current analysis were ages 45- 4 and were free from cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes at baseline. They reported dietary habits on a food frequency questionnaire completed at baseline. Sugar-sweetened drinks included regular soft drinks, soda, sweetened non-diet mineral water and nonalcoholic beer.
Overall, 8.4% of the participants reported drinking at least two sugary beverages each day.
The differences remained significant after adjustment for several potential confounders, including both baseline weight and weight change throughout the study. None of the associations was statistically significant for men.
Rachel Johnson, Ph.D., MPH, RN, of the University of Vermont, said that "based on these findings, women especially should choose their beverage calories carefully and stick primarily to water, unsweetened coffee and tea, other low-calorie drinks, and non- or low-fat milk."
"This study reinforces the American Heart Association's message that a heart-healthy diet limits sugar-sweetened beverages to no more than 450 calories or 36oz/week," said Johnson, who is an AHA spokesperson.
From the November 18, Prepared Foods’ Daily News