Study finds men who drank at least two sweetened drinks a day had 23 per cent higher chance of heart failure. istock

A research study published in the British Medical Journal has revealed that people drinking at least two sweetened drinks a day had a 23% higher chance of getting a heart failure. The food habits of a total of 42,000 Swedish men were monitored over 12 years for the research.

"The takeaway message is that people who regularly consume sweetened beverages should consider limiting their consumption to reduce their risk of heart failure," said co-author Dr. Susanna Larsson of the Stockholm Karolinska Institutet. Nearly 6 million people have been diagnosed with heart failure in the US. According to the Heart Failure Society of America, "less than 50% of patients are living five years after their initial diagnosis and less than 25% are alive at 10 years."

"Patients with heart failure are severely limited in their ability to perform daily tasks," said Dr. Roberto Bolli, chief of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. "They get short of breath for even small efforts like walking one block, or sometimes even walking inside their house," said Dr. Bolli, reported CNN.

Tea, coffee and fruit juice were excluded from the study, which was centered around soft drinks and soda that was sweetened with "sugar or artificial sweetener". The study findings do not apply to age categories outside the limits studied in the research for Swedish men between 45 to 79. Women and certain ethnic groups are also not included in the study.

In a statement to CNN, an American Beverage Association spokesperson said the industry "is committed to providing Americans with choices and information to help them live a balanced lifestyle" and is working toward reducing beverage calories in the American diet by 20% per person within 10 years through its initiative, "Balance Calories."

Earlier, a study published by the Journal of General Internal Medicine on 26 January revealed, "a potential association between daily diet soft drink consumption and vascular outcomes," according to the study researcher Hannah Gardener, an epidemiologist at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine.