Two diet drinks a day linked to stroke risk for women

Pearl Mccarthy
February 19, 2019

That said, almost two-thirds of the women consumed diet sodas or drinks very infrequently, meaning less than once a week or never.

A new study by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association has revealed drinking just two cans of diet soda a day can lead to clot-based strokes, heart attacks and early death for women aged over 50.

"We don't know specifically what types of artificially sweetened beverages they were consuming, so we don't know which artificial sweeteners may be harmful and which may be harmless", Mossavar-Rahmani said.

The risks were highest in women who had no history of heart disease or diabetes, women who were obese, or African-American women, said the study, as CNN reported.

According to the Sun, lead author of the study Dr Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani said "Many well-meaning people, especially those who are overweight or obese, drink low-calorie sweetened drinks to cut calories in their diet".

The study focused on over 80,000 post-menopausal women in the U.S. for an average of 11.9 years.

The study authors pointed out that the American Heart Association (AHA) has recently underscored the lack of sufficient research into the cardiovascular impact of diet sodas. Beware, your heart could be at risk. But critics argue that the study doesn't show that diet sodas are driectly the cause.

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For instance, women without previous heart disease or diabetes who drank two or more diet beverages a day were 2.4 times more likely to suffer from a clot in the brain's small arteries than women who had less than one drink a week.

It's important to note that while the study found a link between drinking diet beverages and stroke and heart disease, but could not prove definitively that diet drinks cause these health issues.

As for the type of artificial sweetener, did the researchers find one in particular to be the culprit? No.

The news follows the American Heart Association's warning that there is not enough scientific research to say for certain that low-calorie drinks don't affect a person's risk of heart disease.

While the results do not suggest that diet drinks directly cause strokes, the association raises alarms about how artificial sweeteners might be affecting the body.

The new study "adds to the evidence that limiting use of diet beverages is the most prudent thing to do for your health", Rachel Johnson, emeritus professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont and chair of AHA's science advisory group on the topic, said in the release. "However, for some adults, diet drinks with low-calorie sweeteners may be helpful as they transition to adopting water as their primary drink".

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