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Excessive Sugar Tied to Fat Deposits Around Heart, Other Organs

These higher-risk fat deposits linked to greater risk for heart disease and diabetes

TUESDAY, July 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term intake of added sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with higher pericardial adipose tissue, visceral adipose tissue, and subcutaneous adipose tissue volumes, according to a study published online June 28 in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

So-Yun Yi, from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis, and colleagues used data from 3,070 adults participating in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study. Participants were generally healthy and aged 18 to 30 years at baseline and were followed for 25 years. Assessments included dietary intake recordings and a computed tomography scan of the chest and abdomen, with volumes calculated for pericardial adipose tissue, visceral adipose tissue, and subcutaneous adipose tissue.

The researchers found that pericardial adipose tissue volume was higher across increasing quintiles of added sugar and sugar-sweetened beverage intakes (Ptrend = 0.001 and Ptrend < 0.001, respectively). There were similar findings for visceral adipose tissue (Ptrend < 0.001 for both added sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages).

"Because these ectopic fat depots are associated with greater risk of disease incidence, these findings support limiting intakes of added sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages," the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

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