Drinking diet soda increases the risk of vascular events, according to new research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2011.
In findings involving 2,564 individuals in the Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS), scientists said that people who drank diet soda every day had a significantly higher risk of vascular events than those who reported no soda drinking.
NOMAS is a collaboration of investigators at Columbia University and Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, launched in 1993 to examine stroke incidence and risk factors in a multi-ethnic urban population.
“If our results are confirmed with future studies, then it would suggest that diet soda may not be the optimal substitute for sugar-sweetened beverages for protection against vascular outcomes,” says lead author Hannah Gardener, Sc.D., epidemiologist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
In the soda study, researchers asked subjects at the outset to report how much and what kind of soda they drank. Based on the data, they grouped participants into seven consumption categories: No soda, moderate regular soda intake, daily regular soda, moderate diet soda, daily diet soda, moderate diet and regular soda, and daily diet and regular soda.
During an average follow-up of 9.3 years, 559 vascular events occurred, including stroke. Even after accounting for patients’ lifestyle habits, metabolic syndrome, and vascular disease and heart disease history, the increased risk of vascular events among those who consumed diet soda persisted at a rate 48 percent higher.
Diet soda can adversely affect health:
• Caffeine, artificial sweeteners and sodium in diet soda can have negative health effects.
• Diet soda may not aid in weight loss or management.
• Body mass gain may be a consequence of artificial sweetener consumption.
• Acids in diet soda can affect dental health.
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