Do Energy Drinks cause Sudden Cardiac Arrests?
A Royal Prince Alfred Hospital study has linked energy drink consumption with Sudden Cardiac Arrest in young people with no known history of heart disease.
In the study, people with Long QT Syndrome were given Red Bull. One in eight experienced a faster heart rate and the rhythm became more erratic.
“The study found energy drinks can cause two main things — alter the blood pressure and also alter the rhythm of the heart,” said cardiologist Dr Chris Semsarian, one of the authors of the study.
“You or I could be carrying an inherited gene that causes rhythm problems,” Dr Semsarian said.
QT Syndrome affects 1 in 2000, and many people are not aware they have it.
“If you see the families of young people who have died, and you tell them it’s rare, they don’t care. It’s happened to their son or daughter.
“There needs to be more education in the community about energy drinks. You walk down the aisles of your supermarket and buy four drinks for a few dollars. A 12-year-old can buy them with no restriction.”
Last year Australian researchers called for a ban on sales of energy drinks to children as well as restrictions on marketing and advertising targeting young people.
The medical study made public today was the first in the world to link energy drinks to heart attacks in people with Long QT Syndrome.
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