Mum ‘addicted’ to soft drink dies
A New Zealand inquest has found that a mother-of-three's daily soft drink habit may have contributed to her death.
Amy Louise Thorpe, a mother-of-three from Invercargill, was found dead in her home in December 2018.
The 34-year-old was 15 weeks pregnant and had suffered an epileptic seizure, the New Zealand Herald reports.
An inquest into her death has heard evidence Ms Thorpe drank between two litres of Coca-Cola and 500ml to one litre of energy drinks every day.
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Ms Thorpe's partner described her as being "addicted" to soft drink and that she had a history of epilepsy, sleep apnoea, anxiety and depression, Stuff reports.
In a statement to police, Ms Thorpe's friend Madonna Bresolini-Meikle said the mum drank "more energy drinks a day than people have coffee".
"She enjoyed her V drinks and Coke," she said.
Coroner David Robinson's findings also state that Ms Thorpe was a heavy smoker and had around 80 grams of tobacco a week.
Ms Thorpe had been referred to a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist who found the mum was experiencing frequent seizures brought on by seemingly random triggers.
A month before she died Ms Thorpe was also referred to a neurologist, Graeme Hammond-Tooke, who recommended she try another medication for her epilepsy or otherwise go to hospital for EEG monitoring.
According to the inquest, Ms Thorpe was reticent to get further testing or change her medication.
Dr Hammond-Thorpe provided advice for the coroner's report, saying it was possible that her caffeine consumption contributed to her death.
"In the case of Ms Thorpe, I think it is possible that excessive caffeine contributed to poor seizure control," he said, according to The Sun.
"While, modest intake of caffeine contained in drinks is not likely to affect seizure control, large amounts probably do increase seizures, and may have other adverse effects on health."
However, Mr Robinson conceded it couldn't be known how much her drinks consumption contributed to her death, given that data around the issue was "rather lacking".
"It may be appropriate for patients with epilepsy to be cautioned as to the potential consequences of excessive caffeine use," he said.
Ms Thorpe's death isn't the only high profile New Zealand case linked to soft drink consumption.
Back in 2010, 30-year-old Natasha Harris died from a heart attack, with a coroner later finding her eight litre a day Coca-Cola consumption was likely a factor in her death.
However, Coca-Cola disagreed with the inquest's findings, arguing experts could not agree on what was the cause of her death.
Originally published as Mum 'addicted' to soft drink dies