“Afraid of big bad wolf -diet soda?”

Research results reported at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles

People who drank diet soda daily had a 61 percent increased risk of cardiovascular events compared to those who drank no soda, even when accounting for smoking, physical activity, alcohol consumption and calories consumed per day.”This study suggests that diet soda is not an optimal substitute for sugar-sweetened beverages, and may be associated with a greater risk of stroke,” Hannah Gardener of the University of Miami and her colleagues reported at the conference.

The risk persisted after controlling for metabolic syndrome, peripheral vascular disease, and cardiac disease history.

The researchers looked at more than 2500 people from the multi-ethnic Northern Manhattan Study. Participants were asked to report how much and what kind of soda they drank.

During an average follow-up of 9.3 years, 559 vascular events occurred, including ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.

The researchers also observed a marginally significant increased risk for vascular events among those who consumed diet soda daily and regular soda once or more a month (adjusted relative risk, 1.74; 95% confidence interval, 0.96 – 3.16).

As reported by Medscape Medical News, previous studies have suggested a link between diet soda consumption and the risk for metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

This is the first time diet drinks have been associated with vascular events.

 

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