Sugar-sweetened beverages increased risk from Type 2 diabetes

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Sugar-sweetened beverages increased risk from Type 2 diabetes


Researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages or soft drinks is routinely linked to higher rates of death from cardiovascular disease, especially among people with type 2 diabetes. The method of the study was to analyze the health data of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes for a period of 18.5 years. Of the 15,486 people in the United States, 9,252 were women and 3,519 were men. The research was funded by the US National Institutes of Health.

The study found that in a group of people with type 2 diabetes, drinking sugary drinks every day was associated with an 8% higher risk of death from all causes, while drinking soft drinks was found to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by 25% and the risk of death by 29%. Healthy alternative drinks, such as coffee, tea, low-fat cow's milk, and water, were found to reduce the risk of death from all causes by 18%.

In this study, high consumption of certain beverages (6 servings per day) was observed, which reduced the death rate from cardiovascular disease. The beverages that had a reduced effect were coffee (26%), water (23%), tea (21%), and low-fat cow's milk (12%). This means that drinking coffee regularly may cause the lowest mortality rate from the above diseases.

However, the significantly reduced deaths from coffee and tea may in part be due to the higher average wealth of consumers, access to health resources, and a better nutritional diet. Additionally, observational studies cannot rule out the possibility of a variable or misclassification, such as lifestyle risk factors, the amount of physical activity of the participants, or consumption of foods, beverages, and snacks that may contain added sugar, which may affect the results of the research and lead to mistakes.

In summary, this new study expands our understanding of the health effects of various beverages for adults with type 2 diabetes.

DOI: 10.1136/bmj-2022-073406