February 17th, 2011
Risks: Side Effects Fueled by High-Energy Drinks
New York Times
A wide-ranging review of the effects of high-caffeine energy drinks on children and young adults finds that they have been linked to an array of serious events — including heart palpitations, high blood pressure and even cardiac arrest and death — and may pose special risks to young people who take medication or have chronic illnesses.
The paper, published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday, draws from case reports and scientific studies in the medical literature as well as newspaper articles, and outlines regulatory steps taken in other countries. (Denmark, Turkey and Uruguay have banned them; Norway prohibits sales to children under 15.)
The study urges pediatricians to discuss the risks of energy drinks with patients, especially those with heart conditions and mood or behavioral disorders, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The high amounts of sugar may pose risks to those with diabetes.