Energy drinks may increase blood pressure, disturb heart rhythm

Energy drinks may increase blood pressure and disturb your heart's natural rhythm, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions.

Researchers 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, the researchers examined the 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. The QT interval describes a segment of the heart's rhythm on an electrocardiogram; when prolonged, it can cause serious or sudden cardiac death.

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

"QT prolongation is associated with life-threatening arrhythmias. The finding that energy drinks could prolong the QT, in light of the reports of , warrants further investigation." said Ian Riddock, M.D., a co-author and director of preventive cardiology at the David Grant Medical Center, Travis Air Force Base, Calif.

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

"The correlation between energy drinks and increased systolic blood pressure is convincing and concerning, and more studies are needed to assess the impact on the heart rhythm." Shah said. "Patients with high blood pressures or should use caution and judgment before consuming an energy drink.

"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", said Shah.

Related Stories

Energy drinks improve heart function: study

date Aug 27, 2012

Consuming energy drinks can exert acute positive benefits on myocardial performance, according to research presented today at the ESC Congress by Dr Matteo Cameli from University of Siena.

Keeping a beating heart in rhythm

date Mar 31, 2011

Screening for a group of genetic mutations in people with a special heart condition could help doctors determine who is at risk for cardiac arrest or sudden death, reports a new study in Science Translational Medicine today. ...

Recommended for you

A-fib recurrence common five years after ablation

date Apr 17, 2015

(HealthDay)—Most patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and systolic heart failure who undergo ablation have AF recurrence at five years, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of ...

Applied physics helps decipher the causes of sudden death

date Apr 17, 2015

Sudden cardiac death accounts for approximately 10% of natural deaths, most of which are due to ventricular fibrillation. Each year, it causes 300,000 deaths in the United States and 20,000 in Spain. Researchers have demonstrated ...

Cognitive problems are common after cardiac arrest

date Apr 17, 2015

Half of all patients who survive a cardiac arrest experience problems with cognitive functions such as memory and attention. This has been shown by a major international study led from Lund University. Surprisingly, however, ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.