Higher Fructose Intake Tied to Increased Hypertension Risk

Equivalent of 2.5 sugary soft drinks per day associated with increased odds of elevated BP
By Lindsey Marcellin
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Despite inconsistent findings from previous studies, high intakes of fructose are associated with an increased risk of developing hypertension, according to research published online July 1 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Diana I. Jalal, M.D., of the University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Center in Aurora, and colleagues analyzed data from 4,528 adults without a history of hypertension from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2003 to 2006), who answered questions on their dietary habits.

The median fructose intake of the study participants was found to be 74 g/d, which is equivalent to approximately 2.5 sugary soft drinks per day. After adjusting for comorbidities, demographics, physical activity, kilocalorie intake, and several dietary confounders, the researchers found that daily fructose intakes equal to or higher than 74 g/d were significantly and independently associated with increased odds of elevated blood pressure levels: a 26 percent higher risk for blood pressure of at least 135/85 mm Hg, a 30 percent higher risk for blood pressure of at least 140/90 mm Hg, and a 77 percent higher risk for blood pressure of at least 160/100 mm Hg. The authors concluded that high fructose intake was a significant but modifiable risk factor for hypertension.

"These findings support the hypothesis that increased intake of fructose may result in hypertension through a variety of mechanisms. Limiting fructose intake is readily feasible, and, in light of our results, prospective studies are needed to assess whether decreased intake of fructose from added sugars will reduce the incidence of hypertension and the burden of cardiovascular disease in the U.S. adult population," the authors write.

The lead author disclosed authoring the book, The Sugar Fix, and is listed on several patent applications on lowering uric acid as it relates to blood pressure and metabolic syndrome.

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