Diet drinks can increase the risk of stroke.

New research suggests that drinking artificially sweetened beverages is associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke, coronary heart disease, and mortality from similar causes.

Among the nearly 82,000 participants in a study conducted by the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study, the risk of a fatal and non-fatal stroke was 23% higher among women, who, in their own words, consumed two or more diet drinks per day. The comparison was carried out with those women who did not drink them at all or less than one per week.

The results confirm similar associations from other recent studies and indicate a new discovery - the group with the highest consumption was determined to increase the risk of occlusion of small arteries by 81%.

“This is the most important discovery - it is now that a high risk of occlusion of small arteries has been identified,” said principal investigator Yasmin Mossawar-Rahmani, Ph.D. ), Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (Department of Epidemiology and Population Health), Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Albert Einstein College of Medicine).

Contradictory data

As previously reported in Medscape Medical News, a study in 2017 involving almost 4,400 people in the Framingham Heart Study Offspring study group found a link between high consumption of artificially sweetened beverages and the risk of dementia and cardiovascular diseases, including stroke.

“The results obtained really caused my interest in conducting this study,” said Mossawar-Rahmani. “Therefore, we decided to look at the link between the consumption of artificially sweetened beverages and the risk of stroke, cardiovascular diseases and death from these causes.”

In a previous study conducted by the Women's Health Initiative, a 30% increase in the risk of heart attack and other causes of death was found. At the same time, there was a connection with the use of artificially sweetened drinks in the amount of two or more servings per day.

Nevertheless, data on the consumption of artificially sweetened beverages and cardiovascular diseases from other studies are contradictory. At least that's what modern researchers say.

Mossawar-Rahmani and his colleagues studied the data on 81,714 participants who participated in the observational study of the Women's Health Initiative, from 1993 to 1998. Women were then between 50 and 79 years old.

Three years after the basic clinical analysis, the participants underwent a physical examination, during which blood was taken. They also filled out questionnaires asking about their use of artificially sweetened beverages during the previous 3 months. Examples were diet cola and diet fruit drinks in cans.

Often consume against rarely consume

The researchers classified the levels of consumption of beverages according to nine categories, starting with “never” and ending with “six times a day”. They also evaluated any effect of race / ethnicity or body mass index (BMI) on associations in the study. Additionally taken into account the consumption of sweetened beverages and other nutrients taken from the responses to the questionnaire on the frequency of use.

Most participants (79%) who consumed two or more artificially sweetened drinks per day never or rarely drank regular soda.
The majority of participants (64%) were infrequent consumers, defined as never drinking an artificially sweetened beverage or drinking less than once a week. In contrast, only 5% consumed two or more such diet drinks per day.

Video: Diet Beverages Increase Risk Of Stroke And Heart Attacks

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