ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Garlic Yields Up Its Health Secret
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
'Snowbirds' Beware the Climate Changes
More Faces Being Spared in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Returning to the Road Tricky After Injury
CANCER
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
Sharing Cancer Info May Be Empowering
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
CAREGIVING
With Alzheimer's, Health-Care Costs Could Triple
Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
DIABETES
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
DIET, NUTRITION
TV Food Ads Promote Bad Diets
Fatty Acid in Olive Oil Wards Off Hunger
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Gas Cooking Might Up Your Cancer Risk
City Kids Find the Breathin' Is Easier Elsewhere
Walkable Neighborhoods Keep the Pounds Off
EYE CARE, VISION
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
FITNESS
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
Moderate Aerobic Exercise Lowers Diabetics' Liver Fat
Barefoot Best for Running?
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Can Be Good for You
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Don't Leave Your Kids In The Car !
3 Home Habits Help Youngsters Stay Slim
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
Optimism May Boost Immune System
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
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Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes

(HealthDay News) -- Women who drink five or more servings of sugar-sweetened cola per week before they conceive increase their risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy, a new study indicates.

"Previous studies have shown an association with other chronic metabolic problems," said study author Dr. Liwei Chen, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, in New Orleans. "This is the first to show an increased risk among pregnant women."

Gestational diabetes, known as glucose intolerance during pregnancy, is one of the most common complications of pregnancy. It increases the chances of lifelong diabetes for the woman and also can have permanent effects on the unborn child, Chen said. The report appears in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

"Other studies suggest that babies born to women who are diabetic during pregnancy have higher weight at birth and also higher rates of obesity and diabetes early in life," she added.

Chen, working with researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, studied 10 years of medical records on a group of 13,475 women from the Nurses' Health Study II. After adjusting for known risk factors for gestational diabetes, such as age, family history and smoking, the researchers found that women who had more than five servings per week of sugar-sweetened cola beverages had a 22 percent higher risk of gestational diabetes than women who had less than one serving per month.

No such association was found for consumption of other sugar-sweetened beverages or artificially sweetened drinks.

It's not clear why only cola drinks are associated with the increased risk, Chen said. One explanation could be "the tremendous popularity of cola in the United States," she said.

The results are not conclusive, and "we need other studies to confirm our findings," Chen said. "We plan to study other populations, and we hope that other investigators start such studies."

But meanwhile, "I suggest that women reduce their intake of sugary beverages," she said. "Women need to be aware of the possible risk not only for their pregnancy but also of the long-term consequences for their babies."

Maureen Storey, senior vice president of science policy for the American Beverage Association, which represents soft drink companies, said she was skeptical about the findings.

"As with all epidemiological studies, the data do not show a cause-and-effect relationship," Storey said in a statement.

Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption has not been among the risk factors for gestational diabetes identified by "leading scientific bodies," Storey added.

"The key to a healthy pregnancy is seeking good medical care and having a healthy lifestyle before and during pregnancy," the statement said. "This includes eating a variety of foods and beverages in moderation along with getting regular physical activity."

According to the journal report, there are several potential explanations for the association. For example, sugar-rich foods or beverages can overload the body with glucose, which can impair the function of the beta cells of the pancreas, which make insulin that metabolizes glucose.

Sugar-sweetened beverages are the leading source of added sugar in the American diet, Chen said. The U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that soft drink intake more than doubled between 1977 and 2001 among 19- to 39-year-old Americans, going from 4.1 percent to 9.8 percent, and that those in this age group had the highest rate of soft drink consumption.

SOURCES: Liwei Chen, M.D., assistant professor, epidemiology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans; Dec. 1, 2009, statement, American Beverage Association, Washington, D.C.; December 2009, Diabetes Care Published on: December 02, 2009