Posted on Feb 28, 2012, 6 a.m.
People who drink diet soft drinks on a daily basis may be at increased risk of suffering a stroke, heart attack, and vascular death.
While artificially sweetened soft drinks lack calories and thus may be a seemingly attractive alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages, the long-term health consequences of drinking diet soft drinks remains unclear. Hannah Gardener, from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (Florida, USA), and colleagues examined the relationship between both diet and regular soft drink consumption and risk of stroke, myocardial infarction (or heart attack), and vascular death. Data were analyzed from 2,564 participants enrolled in the Northern Manhattan Study. The team found that those subjects who drank diet soft drinks daily were 43% more likely to have suffered a vascular event, as compared to those who drank none, after adjusting for confounding factors. People who drank between one diet soft drink a month and six a week, and those who chose regular soft drinks, were not found to be at increased risks for vascular events. The study authors conclude that: “Daily diet soft drink consumption was associated with several vascular risk factors and with an increased risk for vascular events.”
Gardener H, Rundek T, Markert M, Wright CB, Elkind MS, Sacco RL. “Diet Soft Drink Consumption is Associated with an Increased Risk of Vascular Events in the Northern Manhattan Study.” J Gen Intern Med., January 27, 2012.