Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tied to Higher Risk of Chronic Kidney Disease


High consumption of sugary beverages has previously been linked to obesity, diabetes, and some types of cancer.

High consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages may be linked to an increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a recent study.

Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption has been associated with diabetes, obesity, and some cancers. Although previous research has suggested that these beverages could contribute to a greater risk of kidney disease, the evidence has not been consistent.

The study, which was published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, investigated the effect of beverage consumption patterns on kidney disease risk in 3003 African American men and women with normal kidney function.

“There is a lack of comprehensive information on the health implications of the wide range of beverage options that are available in the food supply,” study author Casey Rebholz, PhD, MS, MNSP, MPH, said in a press release. “In particular, there is limited information on which types of beverages and patterns of beverages are associated with kidney disease risk in particular.”

The researchers assessed beverage consumption through a food frequency questionnaire administered at the start of the study from 2000 to 2004 and then followed the participants from 2009 to 2013. The results showed that 6% of the participants developed incident CKD over a median follow-up of 8 years.

The researchers determined that a beverage pattern consisting of higher consumption of soda, sweetened fruit drinks, and water was associated with a significantly greater risk of incident CKD (odds ratio tertile 3 versus 1=1.61; 95% confidence interval, 1.07 to 2.41). For individual types of beverages, higher intake of soda was associated with a higher risk.

The study data showed that participants in the top tertile for consumption of this beverage pattern were 61% more likely to develop CKD than those in the bottom tertile.

The researchers noted that the inclusion of water as a component of the beverage pattern may be due to participants reporting their consumption of flavored and sweetened water. However, they did not collect information about specific types of water in the study.

Overall, the researchers noted that associations were stronger for the sugar-sweetened beverage pattern than for the individual beverages represented within the pattern.

“These results contribute to the growing body of literature elucidating the negative health consequences of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages,” the authors wrote in the study.

Further research is needed to understand the effect of different types of bottled water, including flavored and sweetened water, they concluded.


Rebholz C, Young BA, Katz R, et al. Patterns of beverages consumed and risk of incident kidney disease. Clinical Journal of American Society of Nephrology. 2018. Doi:

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