Diet Sodas Linked to Stroke
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Last updated October 8, 2016 (originally published February
10, 2011
)

By Susan Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist


There's growing evidence that
diet sodas are bad for your
health. Now, a new study announced February 9, 2011 at the
International Stroke Conference has found a link between the
amount of diet soda you drink and your risk for stroke.

The study examined surveys completed by 2,564 people with
an average age of 69 in the Northern Manhattan Study.  For 9
years, the dietary habits of the participants were tracked to
discover any connection between diet and vascular events such
as strokes.
During that time, the scientists recorded 559
vascular events, which include ischemic and hemorrhagic
stroke. These types of strokes ares caused by rupture of a
weakened blood vessel.

Result?  The researchers found those who reported that they
drank diet soda had a
61% higher incidence of stroke.


The diet soda drinkers experienced a 61% higher stroke risk,
even after discounting for other factors such as age, gender,
ethnicity, physical activity, calorie intake, smoking and alcohol
drinking habits.



Why Does Diet Soda Raise Your Risk of Stroke?





























It's not clear what exactly in diet sodas causes the increase in
stroke risk.  Could it be , for example, that those who drink diet
sodas tend to be overweight, and that therefore obesity, rather
than the soda itself, is causing the spike in stroke risk?  The
answer is "apparently, not".  

For, even after discounting for other factors that
could have
contributed to the high stroke numbers -- such as obesity and
metabolic syndrome, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood
pressure and vascular limb disease -- those who drank diet
soda still had a 48% higher risk of stroke.

Whatever it is in diet soda that is responsible for the link to
stroke risk, it is probably not the caffeine.  In a study of the
link between regular soda and stroke involving 84,085 women
and 43,371 men led by  Dr. Adam Bernstein of the Harvard
School of Public Health, those who drank coffee had a 10%
lower rate of stroke than those who drank soda. And those
who drank decaffeinated coffee had a 9% lower incidence of
stroke than those who drank soda.


The 2011 study was led by Dr. Hannah Gardener, an
epidemiologist with the University of Miami Miller School of
Medicine. Dr. Gardener’s advice for those trying to lose weight
is clear: "diet soft drinks may not be an optimal substitute for
sugar-sweetened beverages."

Diet Sodas May be Worse Than Regular Sodas for Stroke Risk

Surprisingly, those who drank diet sodas daily faced a higher
stroke risk even  those who drank regular soda.  This was true
despite the extra sugar calories that you consume when you
drink regular sodas.

The stroke risk of the daily diet soda drinkers ---the heavy diet
soda drinkers -- were also higher than those who drink diet
soda only occasionally, so called "light" diet soda drinkers.











































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