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Mar 23
Energy drinks may increase blood pressure and disturb heart rhythm
Consumption of energy drinks might impact cardiac health by increasing blood pressure and disturbing heart rhythm, researchers have claimed.

They analyzed data from seven previously published observational and interventional studies to determine how consuming energy drinks might impact heart health.

In the first part of the pooled analysis, they examined the QT interval -describes a segment of the heart`s rhythm on an electrocardiogram; when prolonged, it can cause serious irregular heartbeats or sudden cardiac death - of 93 people who had just consumed one to three cans of energy drinks.

They found that the QT interval was 10 milliseconds longer for those who had consumed the energy drinks.

"Doctors are generally concerned if patients experience an additional 30 milliseconds in their QT interval from baseline," Sachin A. Shah, Pharm.D., lead researcher and assistant professor at University of the Pacific in Stockton, California said.

They also found that the systolic blood pressure, the top number in a blood pressure reading, increased an average of 3.5 points in a pool of 132 participants.

"Patients with high blood pressures or long QT syndrome should use caution and judgment before consuming an energy drink," Shah said.

"Since energy drinks also contain caffeine, people who do not normally drink much caffeine might have an exaggerated increase in blood pressure."

The pooled studies included healthy, young patients 18-45 years old.
"People with health concerns or those who are older might have more heart-related side effects from energy drinks," Shah added.

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