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Coffee & Health
Cardiovascular health

Substitution of sugar-sweetened beverages for other beverages and the risk of developing coronary heart disease: results from the Harvard pooling project of diet and coronary disease

A Keller et al, 2019.
Preventive Medicine, published online.
January 7, 2020


Sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intake is associated with metabolic disorders. The reduction of SSB intake has been promoted to prevent death and disability from chronic diseases. We investigated the association between SSB intake and the risk of coronary events and death, and assessed if substitution of coffee, tea, milk, fruit juice and artificially-sweetened beverages (ASB) for SSBs was associated with a reduced risk of coronary events and death. This was a follow-up study in which data from six studies were pooled and standard observational analyses were performed. Diet intake was assessed at baseline by food-frequency questionnaires. Hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals for the incidence of coronary events and deaths were calculated by Cox proportional hazards regression. The effect of substituting another beverage for SSBs was calculated by taking the difference in the individual effect estimates. During the median 8.2-year follow-up, 4248 coronary events and 1630 coronary deaths were documented among 284,345 individuals. 355 ml daily increase of SSB intake was associated with an increased risk of coronary events (HR: 1.08; 95%CI: 1.02, 1.14) and possibly coronary death (HR: 1.05; 95%CI: 0.96, 1.16). Substitution analyses suggested that replacing SSBs with coffee (HR: 0.93; 95%CI: 0.87, 1.00) or ASB (HR: 0.89; 95%CI: 0.83, 0.97), might be associated with a lower risk of developing coronary events. We found that SSB intake was associated with an increased risk of coronary events and possibly coronary death. Our findings also suggest that replacing SSB’s with ASBs or coffee may lower the risk of developing CHD.

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