The federal government estimates that from 2007 to 2011, the number of emergency room visits related to highly caffeinated “energy drinks” has doubled – rising from about 10,000 to more than 20,000.
According to a story in USA Today, most of the cases involved teens or young adults.
Those numbers were released as part of a survey of hospitals throughout the United States, released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The report calls energy drink consumption a “rising public health problem.”
Although the report doesn’t specify which symptoms caused the emergency room visits, it notes that the drinks can cause insomnia, nervousness, headache, fast heartbeat and seizures severe enough to require emergency medical care.
And emergency physicians are reporting a sharp increase in the number of patients with irregular heartbeats, anxiety and heart attacks who said they had recently consumed one of the beverages.
According to the USA Today story, the uptick in emergency room cases coincides with the drinks’ surging popularity.
Last year, reports emerged linking the energy drinks to 18 deaths. Among them was a 14-year-old girl who died after drinking two large cans of Monster Energy drinks. Two U.S. senators are now calling for the Food and Drug Administration to launch an investigation into the drinks and their ingredients.
The report quotes an emergency room physician as saying: “A lot of people don’t realize the strength of these things.
See the story here: