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Monday
Feb282011

Sugary Drinks Could Increase Blood Pressure, Researchers Say

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It may be necessary for people with high blood pressure to watch their sugar as well as their salt intake, according to a new study. 

The study, published in the journal Hypertension, found that individuals who consumed the most sugar-sweetened drinks such as soda and fruit juices had higher blood pressure.  The problem may be worsened when salt is added.

"Individuals who consume more soda and other sugar-sweetened soft drinks may have higher blood pressure levels than those who consume less, and the problem may be exacerbated by higher salt intake," Dr. Ian J. Brown of Imperial College London wrote in an email to ABC News and MedPage Today.

Researchers in the study focused on 2,696 patients from the U.S. and U.K., taking information from urine collections and blood pressure readings.  The patients also reported on their diets over a four-day period.

The collected data showed a consistent increase in blood pressure with every extra fruit beverage or soda consumed by a patients.

Study authors also reported that people who consumed more sugar-sweetened drinks on a daily basis also tended to have less healthy diets overall than those who had less sugary beverages.

"It appears that empty calories from these drinks displace calories from other foods that have beneficial nutrients such as minerals and vitamins," Dr. Brown said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

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