A new study revealed that men who drink two glasses of sweetened drinks a day are at higher risk for developing heart failure.

Researchers based their study on national data of more than 42,000 Swedish men aged 45 to 79 years from 1998 to 2010.

The report, issued in the peer review journal Heart, examined the consumption of sweetened fruit squash, soft drinks, and other drinks with sugar or artificial sweeteners, with the exception of fruit juice. After further analysis, researchers discovered that two servings of 200 mL or 6 fl. oz. of sweet drinks per day were enough to elevate the risks for heart failure by 23 percent. The number also increased to 25 percent when all those diagnosed with heart failure during the first five years of the study were excluded to rule out 'reverse causation' or when the effect occurred first before the cause.

Throughout the interval of the study, 3,604 new cases of heart failure were recorded and 509 people had died due to the condition.

"The prevalence of heart failure is estimated to be around 5.8 million in the USA, and more than 23 million people are affected worldwide," explained lead researcher Dr. Susanna Larsson from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

Larsson said that the prevalence is rising among men and elderly people. She explained that biological mechanisms may possibly explain the link between risks for heart failure and the consumption of sweetened beverages. These mechanisms include high blood pressure and increased concentrations of glucose, insulin and a protein called C-reactive protein which is often associated with heart disease.

Researchers believe that the findings can have implications for heart failure prevention strategies.

Meanwhile, Spanish professors Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez and Miguel Ruiz-Canela, who wrote an accompanying editorial for the study, explained that people who consume a lot of soft drinks have poor overall diet, and that is an indicator of ill health.

They also said that because of the association between sweetened beverages and several diseases such as obesity and diabetes, the study was biologically possible.

They suggested that the best preventative measure would be to comsune these sweetened drinks occasionally or to avoid drinking them.

No conclusions could be drawn for women because they were not involved in the study, researchers said.

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