(HealthDay News) -- Here's a new reason to put down that sugary soft drink: Research suggests that a diet high in fructose, a common sweetener, boosts the risk of high blood pressure.
High-fructose corn syrup is found in many processed foods and beverages. Americans consume 30 percent more fructose now than 20 years ago, and researchers have linked higher fructose consumption to the growing obesity epidemic. But scientists weren't sure if a connection existed between fructose consumption and high blood pressure.
In a new study, Dr. Diana Jalal, of the University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Center, and colleagues studied 4,528 adults without a history of high blood pressure. They examined their fructose intake and found that those who consumed more than 74 grams of fructose per day -- that's the equivalent of the amount in 2.5 sweetened soft drinks -- boosted their risk of high blood pressure by 28 percent to 87 percent, depending on the level of hypertension.
"These results indicate that high fructose intake in the form of added sugars is significantly and independently associated with higher blood pressure levels in the U.S. adult population with no previous history of hypertension," the study authors wrote, adding that future research is needed to determine if lowering fructose intake will also lower blood pressure.
The study findings were scheduled to be presented at the American Society of Nephrology's annual meeting, held Oct. 27 to Nov. 1 in San Diego.
Learn about high blood pressure from the American Heart Association.
-- Randy Dotinga
SOURCE: American Society of Nephrology, news release, Oct. 29, 2009
Last Updated: Oct. 30, 2009
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