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ATLANTA – Drinking two liters or more of artificially sweetened beverages a week — the equivalent of a moderate amount of fast food diet soda — raises the risk of an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation by 20% compared to people who don’t drink anything. A A new study found.

Also known as A-fib, atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat in the chest that many people describe as a “quiver,” “flutter,” or “flip-flop.”

Drinking the same amount of sugary drinks increased the risk of the disease by 10 percent. Drinking 4 ounces of pure, unsweetened juice, such as orange or vegetable juice, was associated with an 8 percent lower risk of atrial fibrillation. Research found.

“This is the first study to report an association between no- and low-calorie sweeteners, as well as sugar-sweetened beverages, and atrial fibrillation,” said Penny Chris-Etherton, a professor of nutritional science at Pennsylvania State University. In the description. She did not participate in the new study.

While the study may only have shown a link between sugary drinks and A-fib, the link remained after genetic susceptibility to the disease was considered. A 2017 study People of European ancestry have a 22% risk of inheriting the disease.

“We still need more research on these drinks to confirm these findings and to fully understand the health consequences of heart disease and other health conditions,” said Chris-Etherton, a member of the American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee.

“Until then, water is the best choice, and based on this research, no and low calorie sugary drinks should be limited or avoided,” she added.

Atrial fibrillation is dangerous and increasing

Atrial fibrillation is the leading cause of stroke in the United States. Additionally, strokes associated with A-fib tend to be more severe than strokes with other causes.

Atrial fibrillation can also lead to blood clots, heart attacks and “increased risk of heart failure, dementia, kidney disease. All of these are long-term risks,” says Dr. Gregory Marcus, a professor of medicine at the university. of California, San Francisco School of Medicine and associate chief of cardiology for research at UCSF Health, told CNN.

About 40 million people worldwide are diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, 6 million in the United States alone, according to the Heart Rhythm Society, which represents more than 7,000 heart rhythm specialists from more than 90 countries.

Many of these people suffer from chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath and fatigue. But for others, A-fib is a symptomless, silent killer. Once diagnosed, however, the heart rate can be slowed or reversed with medication, lifestyle changes, and, if necessary, surgery.

The rate of atrial fibrillation in the US population is growing: the CDC estimates that 12 million Americans will have A-fib by 2030.

“Age is one of the most important risk factors, so the aging of the population is becoming more common,” Marcus said.

The obesity epidemic is contributing to an ever-increasing number, along with other risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, smoking and alcohol consumption.

Navid Sattar, Professor of Metabolism at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, said: “Previous research has shown that high consumption of soft drinks increases the risk of atrial fibrillation. He did not participate in the new study.

“The risk of atrial fibrillation is known to be associated with type 2 diabetes, excessive alcohol consumption (commonly referred to as holiday heart), as well as illicit drug use (cocaine),” Sattar said.

Potential “Additional Health Risks”

The study, Published on Tuesday In the journal Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, they analyzed data from nearly 202,000 people in the UK Biobank, a large biomedical database. Followed for an average of 10 years, the people in the analysis are between 37 and 73 years old and more than half of them are women.

The highest consumers of artificially sweetened beverages were female, younger, heavier and had a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the study found. People who drink the most sugar-sweetened beverages are more likely to be male, younger, heavier, and more likely to develop heart disease.

People who drank both sugar-sweetened beverages and pure juice “were more likely to have higher sugar intake than those who drank artificially sweetened beverages,” the statement said.

“The findings of our study cannot conclude that one drink is more dangerous to health than another due to the complexity of the diet, because some people may drink more than one drink,” said Dr. Ningjian Wang, a professor in the research study. Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital and Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in Shanghai, China.

“However, based on these findings, we recommend that people reduce or avoid artificially sweetened and sugar-sweetened beverages as much as possible,” Wang said in a statement. “Don’t assume that low-sugar, low-calorie artificially sweetened beverages are healthy; they may pose health risks.”

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