Article

Sugar-Sweetened Beverage, Sugar Intake of Individuals, and Their Blood Pressure International Study of Macro/Micronutrients and Blood Pressure

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London W2 1PG, United Kingdom.
Hypertension (Impact Factor: 7.63). 02/2011; 57(4):695-701. DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.110.165456
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The obesity epidemic has focused attention on relationships of sugars and sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) to cardiovascular risk factors. Here we report cross-sectional associations of SSBs, diet beverages, and sugars with blood pressure (BP) for United Kingdom and US participants of the International Study of Macro/Micronutrients and Blood Pressure. Data collected include four 24-hour dietary recalls, two 24-hour urine collections, 8 BP readings, and questionnaire data for 2696 people ages 40 to 59 years of age from 10 US/United Kingdom population samples. Associations of SSBs, diet beverages, and sugars (fructose, glucose, and sucrose) with BP were assessed by multiple linear regression. SSB intake related directly to BP, with P values of 0.005 to <0.001 (systolic BP) and 0.14 to <0.001 (diastolic BP). SSB intake higher by 1 serving per day (355 mL/24 hours) was associated with systolic/diastolic BP differences of +1.6/+0.8 mm Hg (both P<0.001) and +1.1/+0.4 mm Hg (P<0.001/<0.05) with adjustment for weight and height. Diet beverage intake was inversely associated with BP (P 0.41 to 0.003). Fructose- and glucose-BP associations were direct, with significant sugar-sodium interactions: for individuals with above-median 24-hour urinary sodium excretion, fructose intake higher by 2 SD (5.6% kcal) was associated with systolic/diastolic BP differences of +3.4/+2.2 mm Hg (both P<0.001) and +2.5/+1.7 mm Hg (both P=0.002) with adjustment for weight and height. Observed independent, direct associations of SSB intake and BP are consistent with recent trial data. These findings, plus adverse nutrient intakes among SSB consumers, and greater sugar-BP differences for persons with higher sodium excretion lend support to recommendations that intake of SSBs, sugars, and salt be substantially reduced.

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    ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of premature mortality in the developed world, and hypertension is its most important risk factor. Controlling hypertension is a major focus of public health initiatives, and dietary approaches have historically focused on sodium. While the potential benefits of sodium-reduction strategies are debatable, one fact about which there is little debate is that the predominant sources of sodium in the diet are industrially processed foods. Processed foods also happen to be generally high in added sugars, the consumption of which might be more strongly and directly associated with hypertension and cardiometabolic risk. Evidence from epidemiological studies and experimental trials in animals and humans suggests that added sugars, particularly fructose, may increase blood pressure and blood pressure variability, increase heart rate and myocardial oxygen demand, and contribute to inflammation, insulin resistance and broader metabolic dysfunction. Thus, while there is no argument that recommendations to reduce consumption of processed foods are highly appropriate and advisable, the arguments in this review are that the benefits of such recommendations might have less to do with sodium—minimally related to blood pressure and perhaps even inversely related to cardiovascular risk—and more to do with highly-refined carbohydrates. It is time for guideline committees to shift focus away from salt and focus greater attention to the likely more-consequential food additive: sugar. A reduction in the intake of added sugars, particularly fructose, and specifically in the quantities and context of industrially-manufactured consumables, would help not only curb hypertension rates, but might also help address broader problems related to cardiometabolic disease.
    11/2014; 1(1). DOI:10.1136/openhrt-2014-000167

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