Sugar-sweetened carbonated beverage consumption and coronary artery calcification in asymptomatic men and women

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Abstract

Background

Sugar-sweetened carbonated beverage consumption has been linked to obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and clinically manifest coronary heart disease, but its association with subclinical coronary heart disease remains unclear. We investigated the relationship between sugar-sweetened carbonated beverage consumption and coronary artery calcium (CAC) in a large study of asymptomatic men and women.

Methods

This was a cross-sectional study of 22,210 adult men and women who underwent a comprehensive health screening examination between 2011 and 2013 (median age 40 years). Sugar-sweetened carbonated beverage consumption was assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire, and CAC was measured by cardiac computed tomography. Multivariable-adjusted CAC score ratios and 95% CIs were estimated from robust Tobit regression models for the natural logarithm (CAC score +1).

Results

The prevalence of detectable CAC (CAC score >0) was 11.7% (n = 2,604). After adjustment for age; sex; center; year of screening examination; education level; physical activity; smoking; alcohol intake; family history of cardiovascular disease; history of hypertension; history of hypercholesterolemia; and intake of total energy, fruits, vegetables, and red and processed meats, only the highest category of sugar-sweetened carbonated beverage consumption was associated with an increased CAC score compared with the lowest consumption category. The multivariable-adjusted CAC ratio comparing participants who consumed ≥5 sugar-sweetened carbonated beverages per week with nondrinkers was 1.70 (95% CI, 1.03–2.81). This association did not differ by clinical subgroup, including participants at low cardiovascular risk.

Conclusion

Our findings suggest that high levels of sugar-sweetened carbonated beverage consumption are associated with a higher prevalence and degree of CAC in asymptomatic adults without a history of cardiovascular disease, cancer, or diabetes.

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