Diet Soda Danger for Older Women: Stroke

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Postmenopausal women who drink multiple diet drinks per day have a higher risk for stroke caused by a blocked artery than women who don’t regularly drink diet sodas and fruit drinks, suggests research published in Stroke. Risks were even higher — more than double — in some postmenopausal women, including African Americans and those with obesity.

The observational study involved a large, racially diverse group of women and identified a link between diet drinks and stroke but didn’t prove cause and effect. Led by a researcher at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the New York City, the study used data on 81,714 postmenopausal women from the Women's Health Initiative. Women reported how often they had had diet drinks, including low-calorie, artificially-sweetened sodas and fruit drinks, within the past three months.

After adjusting for stroke risk factors such as age, hypertension, and smoking, the researchers found that women who drank two or more artificially-sweetened beverages per day were:

  • 23 percent more likely to have a stroke
  • 31 percent more likely to have an ischemic stroke (caused by a blood clot)
  • 29 percent more likely to develop heart disease leading to heart attack
  • 16 percent more likely to die from any cause

Sourced from: Stroke