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Soft drinks linked to asthma

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Respirology 2012;17:363-369

Drinking large amounts of soft drinks is associated with an increased risk of developing asthma and COPD, especially in smokers, Respirology reports.

Australian researchers interviewed 16,907 people aged at least 16 years. Overall, 13.3 per cent and 15.6 per cent of people with asthma and COPD respectively consumed more than half a litre of soft drinks per day.

Allowing for socio-demographic and lifestyle factors, consuming more than half a litre of soft drinks a day increased the risk of asthma and COPD by 26 per cent and 79 per cent respectively compared to not consuming soft drinks. The risk of suffering both asthma and COPD more than doubled (odds ratio 2.33).

Smokers who drank less than half a litre of soft drinks a day were four times more likely to develop COPD (OR 4.3) than those who neither smoked nor consumed soft drinks. COPD risk rose almost seven-fold (OR 6.6) among those who smoked and consumed large amounts of soft drinks. Further studies need to characterise the mechanisms underlying the link.

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