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Drinking two or more diet sodas a day linked to high risk of stroke, heart attacks



The risk was highest for women with no history of heart disease or diabetes and women who were obese or African-American.

"This is another confirmatory study showing a relationship between artificially sweetened beverages and vascular risks. show causation, this is a yellow flag to pay attention to these findings, "said American Academy of Neurology President Dr. Ralph Sacco, who was not involved in the latest study.

"What is it about these diet drinks?" asked lead study author Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani, an associate professor of clinical epidemiology and population health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York. "Is it something about the sweeteners? Are they doing anything to our gut health and metabolism? These are questions we need answered."

Weight and race increased risk

, a long-term national study, often used to drink a 1
2-fluid-serving of diet beverage over the previous three months. Their health outcomes were tracked for an average of 11.9 years, Mossavar-Rahmani said.
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"Previous studies have focused on the bigger picture of cardiovascular disease," she said. "Our study focused on the most common type of stroke, ischemic stroke and its subtypes, one of which was small-vessel blockage. The other interesting thing about our study is that we looked at who is more vulnerable."

After controlling for lifestyle factors, the study found that women who consumed more or less artificially sweetened each day were 31% more likely to have a clot-based stroke, 29% more likely to have heart disease and 16% more likely to die from any cause than women who drink diet drink more than once a week or not at all.

The analysis then looked at women with no history of heart disease and diabetes, which are key risk factors for stroke. These are the hidden pitfalls of popular diet you just resolved to follow ” data-src-mini=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/130123205644-c2-pitfall-hp-video.jpg” data-src-xsmall=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/130123205644-c2-pitfall-story-body.jpg” data-src-small=”http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/130123205644-c2-pitfall-story-top.jpg” data-src-medium=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/130123205644-c2-pitfall-horizontal-large-gallery.jpg” data-src-large=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/130123205644-c2-pitfall-horizontal-large-gallery.jpg” data-src-full16x9=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/130123205644-c2-pitfall-horizontal-large-gallery.jpg” data-src-mini1x1=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/130123205644-c2-pitfall-topics.jpg” data-demand-load=”not-loaded” data-eq-pts=”mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781″ src=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhEAAJAJEAAAAAAP///////wAAACH5BAEAAAIALAAAAAAQAAkAAAIKlI+py+0Po5yUFQA7″/>

Women who, at the onset of our study, had no heart disease or diabetes and were obese, were twice as likely to have a clot-based or ischemic stroke, "Mossavar-Rahmani said.

There was no such stroke linkage to women who were of normal weight or overweight. Overweight is defined as having a body mass index of 25 to 30, while obesity is about 30.

"African-American women without a previous history of heart or diabetes were about four times as likely to have a clot-based stroke, "Mossavar-Rahmani said, but that stroke risk didn't apply to white women.

" In white women, the risks were different, "she said. "They were more 1.31% likely to have coronary heart disease."

The study also looked at various subtypes of ischemic stroke, which doctors use to determine treatment and medication choices. They found that small-artery occlusion, a common type of stroke caused by blockage of the smallest arteries inside the brain, was nearly 2½ times more common in women who had no heart disease or diabetes but were heavy consumers of diet drinks.

Only an association

This study, as well as other research on the connection between dietary beverages and vascular disease, is observational and cannot show cause and effect. effect. That's a major limitation, researchers say, if it's impossible to determine whether the association is due to a specific artificial sweetener, a type of beverage or another hidden health issue.

"Postmenopausal women tend to have higher risk of vascular disease because they are the protective effects of natural hormones, "North Carolina cardiologist Dr. Kevin Campbell said, which could contribute to increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

"This association may also be contributed to by rising blood pressure and sugars that were not yet diagnosed as hypertension or diabetes but warranted weight loss," thus leading the women in the study to take up diet beverages, said Dr. Keri Peterson, medical advisor for the Calorie Research Council, an international association representing the low and reduced calorie food and beverage industry.

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Yet, said Sacco, who is also chairman of neurology at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine, the more studies there are coming up with the same associations, "the more you start to question. The more you start to feel strongly about the association being real."

Critics also point to the possible benefit of artificially sweetened drinks for weight loss, a critical issue considering the epidemic of obesity in the United States and around the world.

For example, two World Health Organization meta-analyzes of existing research on non-sugar sweetners called those studies "low-quality and" inconclusive, " said William Dermody Jr., vice president of media and public affairs for the American Beverage Association a trade organization.

"Low- and no-calorie sweeteners have been deemed safe by regulatory bodies around the world," Dermody said, "and there is a substantial body of research. that shows these sweeteners are a useful tool for helping people reduce sugar consumption.

" clear calorie labeling, responsible marketing practices and smaller package sizes. "

Benefits for weight loss?

The American Heart Association issued an advisory last year saying that short term use of low-calorie and artificial ” data-src-mini=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181106181458-01-celery-juice-instagram-trend-110618-restricted-small-169.jpg” data-src-xsmall=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181106181458-01-celery-juice-instagram-trend-110618-restricted-medium-plus-169.jpg” data-src-small=”http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181106181458-01-celery-juice-instagram-trend-110618-restricted-large-169.jpg” data-src-medium=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181106181458-01-celery-juice-instagram-trend-110618-restricted-exlarge-169.jpg” data-src-large=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181106181458-01-celery-juice-instagram-trend-110618-restricted-super-169.jpg” data-src-full16x9=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181106181458-01-celery-juice-instagram-trend-110618-restricted-full-169.jpg” data-src-mini1x1=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181106181458-01-celery-juice-instagram-trend-110618-restricted-small-11.jpg” data-demand-load=”not-loaded” data-eq-pts=”mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781″ src=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhEAAJAJEAAAAAAP///////wAAACH5BAEAAAIALAAAAAAQAAkAAAIKlI+py+0Po5yUFQA7″/>

In 2018, Americans are projected to drink just over 3 billion gallons of diet sodas out of a total of 12.2 billion gallons of carbonated sodas, according to data from the Beverage Marketing Corporation.

"Personally, I've stopped drinking artificially sweetened beverages," Sacco said, adding that he sees the emerging research as "An alert" for hard-core fans of diet drinks and anyone thinking of turning to weight loss.

"We should be drinking more water and natural beverages, such as unsweetened herbal teas," Mossavar-Rahmani said. "We can't just drink any soda diet. Unlimited amounts are not harmless."


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