The risks were highest for women with no history of heart disease or diabetes and women who were obese or African-American.
"This is another confirmatory study that shows a link between artificially sweetened beverages and vascular risks, and although we can not show any causality, this is a yellow flag to draw attention to these findings," said the president of the American Academy of Neurology, Dr. Ralph Sacco involved in the latest study.
"What about these diet drinks?" the lead author of the study, Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Population Health, asked at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York. Do you have something to do with the sweeteners and are you doing something about gut health and metabolism? These are questions we need to answer. "
Weight and race increased risk
"Previous studies have focused on the overall picture of cardiovascular disease," she said. "Our study focused on the most common type of stroke, ischemic stroke and its subtypes, one of which was the obstruction of small vessels, and the other interesting thing in our study is that we looked at who is more susceptible."
After reviewing lifestyle factors, the study found that women who consumed two or more artificially sweetened drinks per day were 31% more likely to experience a stroke due to blood clots, 29% more likely to have heart disease, and 16% more likely to die any cause as women who drank diet drinks less than once a week or not at all.
The analysis then looked at women who did not have heart disease and diabetes, which are the major risk factors for stroke. The risk increased dramatically when these women were obese or African American.
"Women who had no heart disease or diabetes and who were obese at the beginning of our study had twice as many strokes or ischemic strokes," Mossavar-Rahmani said.
There was no such stroke Connection to women who were normal or overweight. Overweight is defined as a body mass index of 25 to 30, while obesity is over 30.
"African-American women without a history of heart or diabetes had a stroke approximately four times as common," Mossavar-Rahmani said, but the risk of stroke was not for white women.
"For white women, the risks were different," she said. "They had more than 1.31% as likely coronary artery disease."
The study also examined several subtypes of ischemic stroke that physicians use to determine treatment and drug selection. They found that occlusion of the small arteries, a common type of stroke caused by blockage of the tiniest arteries in the brain, was nearly two and a half times more common in women who had no heart disease or diabetes but were strong consumers of diet drinks.
This result applies regardless of race or weight.
Only one union
This study as well as other studies on the relationship between diet drinks and vascular disease are observational and can not show cause and effect. This is a big limitation, researchers say, because it is impossible to determine if the association is due to a particular artificial sweetener, beverage type, or other hidden health problem.
"Postmenopausal women tend to be at higher risk for vascular disease because they lack the protective effects of natural hormones," said the North Carolina Cardiologist. Kevin Campbell, who could contribute to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
"This association may also contribute to dietary supplementation by increasing blood pressure and sugars that have not yet been diagnosed as having high blood pressure or diabetes, but justify weight loss," Dr. Keri Peterson, medical advisor to the Calorie Research Council, an international association representing the low calorie and low calorie food and beverage industry.
However, said Sacco, who is also chair of neurology at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine, the more studies that come with the same associations, the more they begin to question association is real. "
Critics also point out the potential benefits of artificially sweetened drinks for weight loss, a critical issue in the face of the epidemic of obesity in the United States and around the world.
"Low-calorie and low-calorie sweeteners have been identified as safe by regulators around the world," said Dermody, "and there is extensive research showing that these sweeteners are a useful tool to help people reduce their sugar intake to reduce.
"We support WHO's call for a reduction in the amount of sugar in their diet, and we are helping to create innovative drinks with less sugar or zero sugar, clear calorie labeling, responsible marketing practices and smaller pack sizes."
Benefits for weight loss
The guidelines are addressed to those who "have difficulty switching directly from sugary drinks to water," said Rachel Johnson, a professor of nutrition at the University of Hawaii, head of the writing group for this scientific consultation. "Low-calorie sweetened drinks can be a useful tool to help people transition."
By and large, Johnson said, "There is solid science that consuming sugary drinks is associated with adverse health effects, so it may be wise to limit your intake until we know more about how they may affect the risk of stroke . "
According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, Americans should drink slightly more than 3 billion gallons of diet soda from a total of 12.2 billion gallons of carbonated soda in 2018.
"Personally, I stopped drinking artificially Sweetened drinks, "said Sacco, adding that he sees the emerging research as an" alarm "for hardcore fans of diet drinks and anyone thinking of turning to them for weight loss.
"We should drink more water and natural drinks like unsweetened herbal teas," said Mossavar-Rahmani. "We can not just drink diet sodas all day, unlimited quantities are not safe."