Many people believe that diet soda is far healthier than regular sodas but the truth is, is that those diet sodas could be causing even more problems. A new study shows that diet drinks may lead to heart health issues for older women.
According to the latest research, healthy postmenopausal women who drink at least two diet soda drinks daily are increasing their risk of having a heart attack, a stroke or other issues pertaining to cardiovascular health. Research shows that women who drink two or more diet drinks daily, are 30 percent more likely to have cardiovascular issues and 50 percent more likely to die from a related disease over women who rarely or even never drink diet drinks.
In the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, 59,614 participants were observed for cardiovascular problems while drinking diet soda. Over a three month period, information was gathered via questionnaires completed by the participants within the study. Diet drinks similar to 12-ounce beverages were used, which included fruit juice and soda. The participants within the study were divided up into 4 groups: women who drank two or more diet drinks a day, women who drank five to seven diet drinks per week, women who drank one to four diet drinks per week, and woman who drank zero to three diet drinks per month.
Ankur Vyas, M.D., fellow, Cardiovascular Diseases, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and the lead investigator of the study said,” Our findings are in line with and extend data from previous studies showing an association between diet drinks and metabolic syndrome. We were interested in this research because there was a relative lack of data about diet drinks and cardiovascular outcomes and mortality.”
In an 8.7 year span of research, the study found that 8.5 percent of the women who drank two or more diet sodas a day were more at risk for coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, heart attack, coronary revascularization procedure, ischemic stroke, peripheral arterial disease and cardiovascular death over the 6.9 percent who drank five-to-seven diet drinks per week and the 6.8 percent who drank one-to-four drinks per week and the 7.2 percent who drank zero-to-three per month.
Demographic characteristics were evaluated and adjusted within the study such as cardiovascular risk factors and comorbidities, including body mass index, smoking, hormone therapy use, physical activity, energy intake, salt intake, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and sugar-sweetened beverage intake and the outcome of the study appeared the same.
“We only found an association, so we can’t say that diet drinks cause these problems,” Vyas said, adding that there may be other factors about people who drink more diet drinks that could explain the connection. It’s too soon to tell people to change their behavior based on this study; however,based on these and other findings we have a responsibility to do more research to see what is going on and further define the relationship, if one truly exists. This could have major public health implications.”