(HealthDay News) – Heavy consumption of soft drinks is linked to an increased risk of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study published in the February issue of Respirology.

Zumin Shi, MD, PhD, of the University of Adelaide in Australia, and colleagues collected data using a risk factor surveillance system. Each month, a representative sample of South Australians were randomly selected from the electronic White Pages for interviews using computer-assisted telephone interviewing.

The researchers found that, among 16,907 participants ≥16 years of age, 11.4% reported daily soft drink consumption of more than half a liter. High levels of soft drink consumption were positively linked with asthma and COPD. Overall, 13.3% of participants with asthma and 15.6% of those with COPD reported drinking more than half a liter of a soft drink per day. After adjusting for sociodemographic and lifestyle factors, the odds ratio (OR) for asthma was 1.26 (95% CI, 1.01–1.58) and the OR for COPD was 1.79 (95% CI, 1.32–2.43) among those consuming more than a half-liter of a soft drink daily compared with those not consuming soft drinks.

“There was a positive association between consumption of soft drinks and asthma/COPD among adults living in South Australia,” the authors write.

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