The impact of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) on blood pressure (BP) has been debated, with some evidence suggesting that their increased intake is related to higher risk of developing hypertension. We conducted a systematic review exploring the relation between consumption of SSB and BP. A comprehensive search in 5 electronic databases along with a bibliography search was performed. The keywords "sugar sweetened beverages," "sugary drinks," "added sugars," "blood pressure," and "hypertension" were indexed in all combinations. Studies were included that reported the effects of intake of SSBs on BP. We excluded studies with <100 subjects and those involving subjects aged <12 years. Of 605 potentially relevant studies, a total of 12 studies (409,707 participants) met our inclusion criteria; 6 were cross sectional studies, whereas the rest were prospective cohort studies. All 12 studies showed positive relation between increased SSB intake and hypertension; however, statistical significance was reported in 10 of these studies. Of the 12 studies, 5 reported an increase in mean BP whereas 7 reported an increase in the incidence of high BP. In conclusion, our systematic review shows that the consumption of SSBs is associated with higher BP, leading to increased incidence of hypertension. Restriction on SSB consumption should be incorporated in the recommendations of lifestyle modifications for the treatment of hypertension. Interventions to reduce intake of SSBs should be an integral part of public health strategy to reduce the incidence of hypertension.
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