Health
Researchers found that women who consumed diet drinks twice daily increased their risk for stroke.
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Researchers found that women who consumed diet drinks twice daily increased their risk for stroke.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Study shows diet soda linked to increased risk of stroke

Drinking diet soda to reduce sugar consumption may not be a healthier alternative. A new study shows it may increase the risk of stroke.

University of Washington researchers wanted to know whether artificial sweeteners used in diet drinks contribute to risk of stroke or heart disease. What they found was that those who drank two or more diet drinks daily were more at risk, compared to those who never or rarely drank those beverages.

Shirley Beresford is a UW epidemiologist and one of the co-authors of the study.

“We should be cautious in assuming that the consumption of diet drinks is safe because it may not be, although we still don’t know,” Beresford said. “If in doubt, choose to drink water.”

The study followed more than 81,000 post-menopausal women across the country starting in 1994. While the study is not conclusive, Beresford said it raises questions whether consuming large quantities of artificial sweeteners is safe in the long run.

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