Taking a diet high in fructose boosts the risk of hypertension, a new study suggests.

The conclusion was based on analysis of 4,528 adults without a history of high blood pressure, according to the study presented at the American Society of Nephrology's annual meeting, held between Oct. 27 and Nov. 1 in San Diego, Southern California. In the study, researchers at the University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Center examined the participants' fructose intake and found that those who consumed more than 74 grams of fructose per day - that's the equivalent of the amount in 2.5 sweetened soft drinks - boosted their risk of high blood pressure by 28 percent to 87 percent, depending on the level of hypertension.

"These results indicate that high fructose intake in the form of added sugars is significantly and independently associated with higher blood pressure levels in the U.S. adult population with no previous history of hypertension," the study authors wrote.

Future research is needed to determine if lowering fructose intake will also lower blood pressure, said the researchers.

High-fructose corn syrup is found in many processed foods and beverages. Americans consume 30 percent more fructose now than 20 years ago, and researchers have linked higher fructose consumption to the growing obesity epidemic. But scientists weren't sure if a connection existed between fructose consumption and high blood pressure.

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