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Diet Drinks May Increase Risk of Stroke In Post-Menopausal Women

Previous studies have suggested that diet soda may be linked with increased risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Now a new study has found that diet soda and artificially sweetened beverages may increase the risk of stroke in post-menopausal women.


Researchers looked at the data of 81,714 post-menopausal women who participated in the Women’s Health Initiative study. The women enrolled in the study between 1993 and 1998 and were followed for an average of 11.9 years. During their three-year evaluation, the women reported how often they had consumed diet drinks such as low calorie, artificially sweetened colas, sodas, and fruit drinks during the past three months.


When the researchers compared women who consumed diet drinks less than once a week or not all to women who consumed two or more diet drinks per day, they found that the high consumers were 23% more likely to have a stroke. They were also 31% more likely to have a clot-caused stroke, 29% more likely to develop heart disease, and 16% more likely to die of any cause.


In addition, the risks were even higher for certain women. Obese women who drank two or more diet drinks daily were 2.03 times more likely to have a clot-caused stroke compared to women who drank diet drinks less than once a week or not all. African-American women in the high consumer quartile were 3.93 more times likely to have a clot-caused stroke.


The study was conducted by researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. It was published February 14, 2019 in the journal Stroke.

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