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Emergency Visits Linked to Energy Drinks On the Rise

Jan 14th, 2013

Emergency Visits Linked to Energy DrinksNeed an energy boost? Think twice before downing that energy drink; emergency visits linked to energy drinks. The number of emergency room visits linked with high-caffeine drinks such as Red Bull, Rockstar, Full Throttle, and Monster Energy is on the rise, according to a government report.

Data from The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration showed 20,783 emergency room cases that cited an energy drink as the primary cause of or a contributing factor to a health problem, that’s double the number in 2007. Majority of the cases include headaches, nausea, anxiety, palpitations, irregular heartbeats, and heart attacks.

The $10-billion energy drink industry has come under fire after the US Food and Drugs Administration revealed it has received several reports of deaths and injuries in which the drinks were mentioned. Product mentions in FDA reports do not necessarily mean they played a role in deaths or injuries. Manufacturers insist that their products are safe.

“Consumption of energy drinks is a rising public health problem because medical and behavioral problems can result from excessive caffeine intake,” the report said. “A growing body of scientific evidence documents harmful health effects of energy drinks, particularly for children, adolescents and young adults.”

According to the report, the majority of patients were male and between the ages of 18 and 25 years. Marketers appeal to these demographics using images of extreme sports, rock music, and young women.

More than 40 percent of those treated may have aggravated their condition by consuming their energy drink with alcohol, Adderall, or Ritalin.

A growing number of older patients were also treated for drinking energy drinks which may be caused by interactions with prescription medications.

Manufacturers of these drinks claim that their products provide consumers with a physical and mental advantage, with very little scientific evidence.

“Health professionals can discourage use of energy drinks by explaining that perceived health benefits are largely due to marketing techniques rather than scientific evidence,” the report said.

Source: VISTA Health Solutions

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