A new study finds a potential link between daily consumption of diet soft drinks and the risk of vascular events. Individuals who drink diet soft drinks on a daily basis may be at increased risk of suffering vascular events such as stroke, heart attack, and vascular death. In the current climate of escalating obesity rates, artificially sweetened soft drinks are marketed as healthier alternatives to sugar–sweetened beverages, due to their lack of calories. However, the long–term health consequences of drinking diet soft drinks remain unclear.
Researchers found that those who drank diet soft drinks daily were 43 % more likely to have suffered a vascular event than those who drank none, after taking into account pre-existing vascular conditions such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes and high blood pressure. Light diet soft drink users, i.e. those who drank between one a month and six a week, and those who chose regular soft drinks were not more likely to suffer vascular events.
Diet Soft Drink Consumption is Associated with an Increased Risk of Vascular Events in the Northern Manhattan Stud. Hannah Gardener et al. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2012; DOI: 10.1007/s11606-011-1968-2