NEW YORK, Jan. 16 – A new US study has shown that menopausal women who drink more than two diet drinks a day are more likely to have a stroke.
Led by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, this new large-scale study examined 81,714 postmenopausal women participating in the Women's Health Initiative.
Women were aged 50 to 79 at the beginning of the study and followed for an average of 11.9 years.
During an assessment three years after the start of the study, women were asked to indicate how often they had consumed dietary drinks, such as colas, sodas and fats. low-calorie and artificially sweetened fruit beverages in the last three months.
The researchers then adjusted the results to take into account various risk factors for stroke, such as age, high blood pressure, and smoking.
The results, published in Stroke, a journal of the American Heart Association, showed that, compared to women drinking diet drinks less than once a week or not at all, women who ate at least two sweetened beverages each day had 23% more likely to have a stroke 31% more likely to have a stroke (ischemic), 29% more likely to develop heart disease and suffer a fatal or nonfatal heart attack, and 16% more likely to die in any cause.
In addition, obese and African-American women without other heart disease or diabetes appeared to present an even higher risk of stroke caused by a clot.
"Many well-intentioned people, especially those who are overweight or obese, drink low-calorie sweetened drinks to reduce calories in their diet. Our research and other observational studies have shown that artificially sweetened beverages may not be innocuous and that high consumption is associated with an increased risk of stroke and heart disease, "said Dr. Lead author of the study, Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani.
"We do not know exactly what types of artificially sweetened beverages they consume, so we do not know what artificial sweeteners can be harmful and which ones can be harmless," she added.
The study is one of the first to examine the association between the consumption of artificially sweetened beverages and the risk of certain types of stroke in a large group of postmenopausal women from different cultures. However, the researchers noted that as an observational study based on self-reported information, she could not prove the cause and effect, and the results might not be generalized to younger men or women.
"The American Heart Association suggests that water is the best choice for a drink without calories. However, for some adults, diet drinks with low-calorie sweeteners may be helpful when they use water as the main drink. Since data from long-term clinical trials on the effects of low-calorie sweet drinks and cardiovascular health are not available, given their lack of nutritional value, it may be prudent to limit their prolonged use, "said Rachel K. Johnson, PhD, RD, chair of the drafting group of the American Heart Association's Sweetened Drinks and Cardiometabolic Health Science Paper. – Relaxnews