Sugar-sweetened drinks linked to chronic kidney disease

In a new study, researchers found that higher consumption of sweetened fruit drinks, soda, and water was linked to a higher risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

The findings contribute to the growing body of evidence pointing to the negative health consequences of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages.

Certain beverages may affect kidney health, but study results have been inconsistent.

To provide more clarity, a team from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health prospectively studied 3003 men and women with normal kidney function who were enrolled in the Jackson Heart Study.

For their study, the researchers assessed beverage intake through a food frequency questionnaire administered at the start of the study in 2000-04, and they followed participants until 2009-13.

Among the 3003 participants, 185 (6%) developed CKD over a median follow-up of 8 years.

The team found that consuming a beverage pattern consisting of soda, sweetened fruit drinks, and water was associated with a higher risk of developing CKD.

Participants in the top tertile for consumption of this beverage pattern were 61% more likely to develop CKD than those in the bottom tertile.

The researchers were surprised to see that water was a component of this beverage pattern that was linked with a higher risk of CKD.

They noted that study participants may have reported their consumption of a wide variety of types of water, including flavored and sweetened water.

Unfortunately, the researchers did not collect information about specific brands or types of bottled water in the Jackson Heart Study.

In an accompanying editorial, Holly Kramer, MD, MPH and David Shoham, Ph.D. (Loyola University Chicago) noted that the findings hold strong public health implications.

In an accompanying Patient Voice editorial, Duane Sunwold explained that he is a patient with CKD who changed his eating and drinking patterns to put his disease in remission.

As a chef, he offers a number of recommendations to fellow patients trying to decrease their consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks.

The study is published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).

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Source: CJASN.