Study finds diet soda associated with higher risk of stroke, dementia

Study finds diet soda linked with high risk of stroke, dementia. PHOTO: Reuters

Consuming a can of artificially sweetened soda is linked with a greater risk of having a stroke or developing dementia, a new study has found.

While sugared drinks have already been linked with increased risk of serious diseases, the study has prompted renewed debate over whether artificially sweetened drinks also pose a serious risk to health.

Researchers from the Boston University studied more than 4,000 people for their report, published in Stroke, the science journal of the American Heart Association. Researchers studied whether sugar- or artificially sweetened soft drinks were associated with the “10-year risks of incident stroke and dementia”  in the community-based Framingham Heart Study.

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A person consuming at least a can of diet soda daily every is  2.96 times more likely to suffer an ischaemic stroke and 2.89 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than someone who drank them less than once a week, the study found.

Further, according to the researchers, the study is the first highlight the association; “To our knowledge, our study is the first to report an association between daily intake of artificially sweetened soft drink and increased risk of both all-cause dementia and dementia because of Alzheimer’s disease,” the co-authors added.

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Although the researchers could not verify a linkage between consumption of diet drinks and development of either medical condition, they suggested that “ as the consumption of artificially sweetened soft drinks is increasing in the community,23 along with the prevalence of stroke and dementia, future research is needed to replicate our findings”

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