Energy Drinks Prolong QTc Interval, Elevate Blood Pressure

sinus heart rhythm, ECG
Findings seen among young, healthy volunteers randomly assigned to energy drinks or placebo

HealthDay News — Energy drinks prolong the QTc interval and are associated with an increase in blood pressure, according to a study published online May 29 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Sachin A. Shah, Pharm.D., from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, and colleagues randomly assigned 34 healthy volunteers (age, 22.1 ± 3.0 years) to 32 ounces of energy drink A, energy drink B, or placebo on three study days with a six-day washout period in between. At baseline and every 30 minutes for 240 minutes, the authors assessed the primary end point of the QTc interval and the secondary end points of the QT interval, PR interval, QRS interval, heart rate, and brachial and central blood pressures.

The researchers found that the maximum change from baseline in Bazett’s corrected QT interval was 17.9 ± 13.9 ms, 19.6 ± 15.8 ms, and 11.9 ±11.2 ms for drink A, drink B, and placebo, respectively. Compared with placebo, the maximum changes from baseline in peripheral and central systolic and diastolic blood pressure were statistically significantly different, with significantly higher systolic blood pressure changes with drinks A and B versus placebo.

“The public should be aware of the impact of energy drinks on their body, especially if they have other underlying health conditions,” Shah said in a statement.

Shah has served as an expert witness in legal cases related to caffeinated energy drinks.

Abstract/Full Text

Related Articles