•We assessed the association between sugary drinks and mortality in Japan.
•Sugary drink consumption was positively associated with all-cause mortality.
•Sugary drinks increased risk of death from circulatory system diseases.
Few epidemiologic studies have assessed the associations of sugary drink consumption with mortality outcomes among Asian populations.
This study included 70,486 participants in the Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study at the age of 45–74 years in 1995–1999. A validated food frequency questionnaire was used to assess the consumption of sugary drinks. We estimated the risk of total and cause-specific mortality associated with sugary drink consumption using Cox proportional hazards regression model.
Mean follow-up was 17.1 years, during which 11,811 deaths were documented. Sugary drink consumption was associated with higher total mortality, with multivariate HR of 1.06 (95% CI 1.00–1.13) for quintile 3, 1.07 (95% CI 1.01–1.13) for quintile 4, and 1.15 (95% CI 1.09–1.22) for quintile 5, compared with quintile 1 (P < 0.001 for trend). Additionally, positive associations with cause-specific mortality were observed, including death from circulatory system diseases (quintile 5 vs quintile 1; HR, 1.23; 95% CI 1.09–1.38) and heart disease (quintile 5 vs quintile 1; HR, 1.35; 95% CI 1.14–1.60).
In this large Japanese prospective study, sugary drink consumption was associated with all-cause and cause-specific mortality.