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Jul 15, 2011

Diet Soda Linked with Cardiovascular Events

If you are looking for yet another reason to kick your diet soda habit, look no further.  A new study presented at the International Stroke Conference 2011, suggests that these popular beverages may increase risk for stroke, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular problems.  Lead investigator Dr. Hannah Gardener reported that “People who had diet soda every day experienced a 61% higher risk of vascular events than those who reported drinking no soda.”  Even when controls for metabolic syndrome, peripheral vascular disease, and heart disease were accounted for, the increased risk remained.  The observational study looked at more than 2500 people from the multiethnic Northern Manhattan Study.  Researchers collected information on how much and what type of diet soda participants drank.  Over the average period of about 9.3 years, the number of vascular events were recorded.  Researchers noted a “marginally significant” elevated risk for vascular events in those with a daily intake of diet soda and regular soda intake at least once per month.  Although previous studies have demonstrated a correlation between intake of diet soda and risk for diabetes and metabolic syndrome, this is the first study where diet drinks have been found to be more directly associated with cardiovascular events.  Though there is no proven causal relationship between diet soda and vascular events at this time, those who drink diet soda should beware of the risks involved and consider healthier low or no sugar/calorie beverage options.

Dr. Shana McQueen