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Student Develops Heart Failure after Drinking Four Cans of Energy Drinks Every Day for Two Years

Men's Health UK logo Men's Health UK 19/04/2021 Daniel Davies

A BMJ case report has told of how a 21-year-old man developed heart failure as a result of "excessive energy drink consumption".

According to the report, the man, who isn't named, drank an average of four 500ml cans of energy drink every day over the course of two years.

Four months prior to his hospital admission, the man suffered with shortness of breath and weight loss, and a month later had to drop out of university due to "his lethargy and feelings of ill health".

He eventually went on to spend a total of 58 days in hospital, which included a spell in an intensive care unit (ICU), an experience he described as "traumatising".

It was while in hospital that doctors were alerted to his energy drink addiction and concluded that the most likely cause for his heart failure was "energy drink-induced cardiotoxicity".

"Energy drink consumption is growing worldwide, however the impact of excessive and chronic use of such products on the cardiovascular system remains poorly understood. Concerns have been raised about a wide range of potential harmful health effects including cardiovascular dysfunction and heart failure, although most consumers are not aware of this," reads the BMJ case study.

Speaking about what happened to him, the man said that at the time that he was admitted to ICU he was suffering from delirium and had memory problems to such an extent that he couldn't remember why he was in the ICU in the first place.


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He also explained how he: "was struggling to move or speak, this eventually led to insomnia; I often would not fall asleep until early morning. Finally, I often became frustrated when I couldn’t think of the words to say when I wanted something and this often led to me becoming overwhelmed with emotions such as anxiety and depression."

The man has now suggested energy drinks should have warning labels printed on them just as cigarettes do.

"I think there should be more awareness about energy drink and the effect of their contents. I believe they are very addictive and far too accessible to young children. I think warning labels, similar to smoking, should be made to illustrate the potential dangers of the ingredients in energy drink."

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