Diet drinks linked to high risk of stroke, heart attacks

Diet drinks, such as Diet Coke and diet fruit juice, are linked to an increased risk for stroke, and are particularly associated with blood clots of the small arteries, according to a new study published today in Stroke.

The study was co-authored by Shirley Beresford, senior associate dean and professor of epidemiology and a core faculty member in nutritional sciences at the University of Washington School of Public Health. It was led by researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York.

Researchers looked at 81,715 women ages 50 to 79, who enrolled at 40 clinical sites across the United States between 1994 and 1998. The study found that compared with those who never or rarely drank diet beverages, women who drank two or more artificially sweetened drinks a day had a 31 percent increased risk of ischemic stroke, which occurs when a vessel supplying blood to the brain is blocked.

Continue reading:  Full story available on the UW School of Public Health website.