Sugary Drinks, Other Added Sugars May Up Risk for Alzheimer Disease

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Drinking sugary beverages has been previously linked to markers of preclinical Alzheimer disease, but the risk associated with consuming added sugars is not established.
Drinking sugary beverages has been previously linked to markers of preclinical Alzheimer disease, but the risk associated with consuming added sugars is not established.
The following article is part of conference coverage from the 2018 Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Chicago, Illinois. Neurology Advisor's staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in neurology. Check back for the latest news from AAIC 2018.

CHICAGO — Intake of sugary beverages and other added sugars in foods may increase one's risk of Alzheimer disease, study authors from Columbia University in New York, presented at the 2018 Alzheimer's Association International Conference, July 22-26, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. 

Drinking sugary beverages has been previously linked to markers of preclinical Alzheimer disease, but the risk associated with consuming added sugars is not established. The community-based study (N=2226) enrolled multi-ethnic elderly participants from New York City. Using a standard food frequency questionnaire, study authors collected information on intake of added sugar as found in soft drinks, punch, fruit drinks, and added sugars to other drinks or food; low-calorie or diet drinks were excluded. Hazard ratios (HR) were calculated for survival and corrected for gender, race/ethnicity, age, education, apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype, and caloric intake.

Of the evaluated population, there were 429 cases of Alzheimer disease identified among the total 15,938 person-years over time (average 7.2 years). The analysis showed greater intake of total added sugar was independently associated with an increased risk for Alzheimer disease (P =.013).

When compared with study participants who consumed the lowest amount of added sugars (mean 3.8 g), those with the highest intake (30.3 g) demonstrated a 33% increased risk for developing Alzheimer disease (HR 1.33; 95% CI, 1.03-1.72; P =.032). This risk was seen even after adjusting for recruitment cohort, smoking status, body mass index, and medical comorbidities (P-trend =.03).

Specifically, the HR comparing the highest tertile of soda consumption (20 g/day; ~1 can every other day) vs the lowest tertile (0.4 g/day; 1 can every 100 days) was 1.47 (95% CI, 1.13-1.92; P =.004). The HR comparing the highest tertile of punch and other fruit drinks (23 g/day) vs the lowest tertile (0.4 g/day) was 1.27 (95% CI, 0.97-1.67; P =.08), and the HR when comparing the highest tertile of added sugar to beverages/food (9.7 g/day) vs the lowest tertile (no added sugar) was 1.54 (95% CI, 1.16-2.04; P =.003).

"When the three types of added sugar were simultaneously included in the fully adjusted model, soda intake remained significantly associated with higher risk (P-trend =.017)," concluded lead author Yian Gu, PhD.

For more coverage of AAIC 2018, click here.

Reference

Gu Y, Manly JJ, Schupf N, et al. Sugary beverage consumption and risk of Alzheimer's disease in a community-based multiethnic population. Presented at: 2018 Alzheimer's Association International Conference. July 22-26, 2018; Chicago, IL. Oral presentation O2-10-03.

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