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Soda, Sweetened Beverages can lead to Heart Failure, Study Finds

Update Date: Nov 04, 2015 03:07 PM EST

The future for soda companies is not looking good as more and more studies are finding that these sweetened beverages can be extremely bad for one's health.

In a new study, Swedish researchers reported that men who drank two or more glasses of a sweetened beverage, like soda, have a higher risk of suffering from heart failure.

The research team, led by Susanna Larsson of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, recruited and tracked 42,400 men, who were from two Swedish counties, for about 12 years. The participants were asked how often they drank soda and other sweetened beverages each day or each week. At the end of the study, there were about 3,600 new cases of heart failure reported and more than 500 deaths.

The team then looked at relationship between the number of drinks and risk of heart failure. They found that men who drank at least two sweetened beverage per day had a 23 percent greater risk of heart failure when compared to men who avoided these beverages.

"We controlled for other food groups that could reflect an overall healthy or unhealthy diet such as intakes of fruits, vegetables, fish, processed red meat and coffee consumption," Larsson said reported by HealthDay via CBS News. "We also adjusted for total energy intake."

The researchers noted that they only found a correlation and not causation. However, previous studies have linked soda consumption to high blood pressure, high blood sugar and diabetes, and obesity and weight gain. The researchers also noted that their data might not reflect the whole truth since they relied heavily on the participants' memories. The study also did not distinguish between sugar and artificial sweeteners.

"Sweetened beverages lead to weight gain and obesity and this leads to diabetes and heart failure," Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez, who co-wrote an accompanying editorial, told Reuters Health by email (via FOX News). "The take home message is to drink water instead of sweetened beverages."

The American Beverage Association has responded to the new findings by reminding people that a new initiative is currently working on lowering the calorie count in beverages. The goal is to reduce the calories coming from beverages in one's diet by 20 percent by 2025.

The study was published in the journal, Heart.

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