Diet soft drinks can increase risk of vascular events, US research study

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 1st February 2012

A new scientific study conducted at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine suggests a potential link between the consumption of diet soft drinks and heart attacks or other vascular events.

The study has found that people who drink diet soft drinks on a daily basis may be at an increased risk of suffering vascular events such as a stroke, heart attack, and vascular death.

The research led by Dr Hannah Gardener ScD was examining the relationship between both diet and regular soft drink consumption and the risk of stroke, heart attack and vascular death from data among 2,564 participants. The study looked at how often individuals drank soft drinks – diet and regular – and the number of vascular events that occurred over a ten year period.

These findings come as a surprise in light of anti-obesity campaigns that have favored consumption of diet soft drinks.

The study concludes that individuals who drank diet soft drinks daily were 43 percent 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. Those who drank diet soft drinks between once a month and six a week, and those who chose regular soft drinks were not more likely to suffer vascular events.

Although the results suggest a potential association between daily soft drink consumption and vascular outcomes, Dr Gardener says that the mechanisms by which the soft drinks affect vascular events is still unclear, and needs further research to determine potential health complications from consuming diet soft drinks.