In January 2019 researchers from Norway published the results of their study to assess the association between intake of sucrose-sweetened soft beverages during pregnancy and risk of congenital heart defects in offspring. A total of 88,514 pregnant women took part in the study. 1,049 children were born with congenital heart defects and among these, 201 had severe and 848 had non-severe congenital heart defects (patent ductus arteriosus; valvular pulmonary stenosis; ventricular septal defect; atrial septal defect). Results showed that only the non-severe congenital heart defects appeared to be associated with sucrose-sweetened soft beverages. A further analysis revealed that an increasing exposure to sucrose-sweetened soft beverages was associated with a higher risk of congenital heart defects, especially for septal defects, in a dose dependent manner. Fruit juices, cordial beverages and artificial sweeteners showed no associations with congenital heart defects.
Dale MTG et al. Intake of sucrose-sweetened soft beverages during pregnancy and risk of congenital heart defects (CHD) in offspring: a Norwegian pregnancy cohort study. Eur J Epidemiol. 2019 Jan 19. [Epub ahead of print]