Dietary sugar intake and cardiovascular disease mortality: differences by gender

Background: Limited studies have investigated the role of dietary sucrose and fructose intake and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality. While sugar has been shown to contribute to obesity and Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) development, both known risk factors for CVD, it is unclear whether sugar plays a direct role in CVD mortality. This study evaluated an independent relationship between dietary sucrose and fructose, and CVD morality in a group of 818 elderly men and women. Methods: This study included 469 women and 349 men, recruited from the Rancho Bernardo Study (RBS) cohort. Beginning in 1972-74, standard questionnaires and clinical measurements were obtained annually. The Harvard-Willet Diet Assessment Questionnaire was obtained at the baseline visit of the study (1984-87). CVD mortality was validated using death certificates, which were obtained in 99.9% of decedents. CVD-related deaths were considered for ICD-9 codes 401-414, 426-438, 440-448. Results: Sex-specific CVD risk by average sucrose and fructose intake were used to assess the potential dietary sugar-CVD mortality relationship and determine the potential existence of effect modification. Conclusion: This study found an independent significant finding. Dietary sucrose was positively associated with CVD mortality in women in the fully-adjusted model. Dietary fructose was not associated with CVD mortality in men nor women.