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Coffee & Health
Cardiovascular health

A Munoz-Cabrejas et al, 2023. Association of beverage consumption with subclinical atherosclerosis in a Spanish working population, Scientific Reports, Volume 13 (1).

Association of beverage consumption with subclinical atherosclerosis in a Spanish working population

A Munos-Cabrejas
Scientific Reports
April 24, 2023


Beverages play a substantial role meeting water, calorie, and nutrient requirements; however, they are presented as being major contributors to the current obesity epidemic. Although, the relationship between beverage consumption and metabolic risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in adults has been frequently studied, its association with subclinical atherosclerosis is of increased interest. We studied the association of beverage consumption with the presence of peripheral subclinical atherosclerosis among Spanish workers. We performed a cross-sectional study of 2089 middle-aged males, with a mean age of 50.9 (SD 3.9), and without CVD, carried out in the Aragon Workers' Health Study (AWHS). A food frequency questionnaire was used to measure beverage consumption of low-fat milk, coffee and tea (unsweetened), whole-fat milk, sugar-sweetened beverages, bottled fruit juice, artificially-sweetened beverages and 100% fruit juice. Atherosclerotic plaques were measured by ultrasound (in carotid arteries, and in femoral arteries). Atherosclerotic plaque was defined as a focal structure protruding ≥ 0.5 mm into the lumen, or reaching a thickness ≥ 50% of the surrounding intima-media thickness. As statistical analysis, we use logistic regression models, simultaneously adjusted for all beverage groups. As results, unsweetened coffee was the beverage most associated with peripheral subclinical atherosclerosis with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.25 (1.10-1.41), and 1.23 (1.09-1.40) 100g/day] for carotid, and femoral territories respectively. Moreover, subclinical atherosclerosis was positively associated with whole-fat milk [OR 1.10 (1.02-1.18) 100 g/day] in the femoral territory. The association was protective for low-fat milk in the carotid territory [OR 0.93 (0.88-0.99) 100g/day]. There was also a protective association with bottled fruit juices in the femoral territory [0.84 (0.74-0.94) 100g/day]. Our results suggest a detrimental association with the consumption of coffee, as well as with whole-fat milk and the presence of subclinical atherosclerosis. Therefore, an element of prudence excluding water and low-fat milk, must be applied when recommending beverage.

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