Diet Soda Increases Stroke Risk In Women

The risk increased 23%.

Diet Soda Increases Stroke Risk In Women
Credit: iStock/tongpatong

Diet soda consumption may increase the risk of heart disease, particularly for postmenopausal women, a new study finds. 

While sugar-sweetened soft drinks have been pulled from schools and kids meals across the country — and even taxed in a growing number of cities — because of the connection to an increased risk of obesity and developing type-2 diabetes, a  growing body of research has pointed to numerous health risks connected to artificially sweetened soft drinks as well. The new research, published in the journal Stroke warns that they may be even more dangerous for adults.

The study looked at the long-term health of more than 80,000 women. The women reported on their daily consumption habits including artificially-sweetened soft drinks.

According to the findings, women who consumed more than one artificially-sweetened soft drink per day had a 29 percent increased risk of heart attack, a 23 percent higher risk for stroke and a 31 percent higher stroke risk specifically from a clogged artery. All subjects who fell in the frequent daily consumption category had an increased mortality risk of 16 percent.

“Many well-meaning people, especially those who are overweight or obese, drink low-calorie sweetened drinks to cut calories in their diet,’’ lead author Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani said in a statement. “Our research and other observational studies have shown that artificially sweetened beverages may not be harmless and high consumption is associated with a higher risk of stroke and heart disease.”

While the study didn’t discern which artificial sweeteners were consumed, aspartame — the artificial sweetener in Diet Coke — has been linked to metabolic disorders and weight gain despite its lack of calories.

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