Although diet soft drinks may be low in calories, they definitely increase your heart disease risk. According to research published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, an extensive study has established a link between diet soft drinks and increased risk for heart attacks and strokes. The results of the study are of particular interest to people who consume diet soft drinks.
Scientists from Columbia University and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine designed a cohort study to investigate the link between diet soft drinks and the risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
To find their answer, they recruited men and women who were already participating in a long running experiment named the Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS). The objective of NOMAS was to determine stroke risk factors across different ethnic groups.
Researchers recruited 2564 of these volunteers to look for links between diet soft drinks and cardiovascular disease. They collected volunteers' baseline data from food frequency questionnaires then followed them for a ten year period.
During that time they counted 591 incidents of cardiovascular disease and stroke. In other words, people who drank diet soft drinks were 44 % more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than people who didn't consume such beverages.
The majority of the NOMAS participants who experienced heart attacks or strokes consumed diet soft drinks at least once per day.
These results held up even after controlling for diabetes, increased body mass index (BMI), metabolic syndrome, hypertension and other health problems.
Interestingly the research team wasn't able to establish a link between increased cardiovascular risk factors and regular soft drink or light diet soft drink consumption.
The results of the cohort study suggest that diet soft drinks might not be a healthy beverage that many people believe them to be. Nonetheless, lead researcher Hanna Gardner said: "Further research is needed before any conclusions can be made regarding the potential health consequences of diet soft drink consumption."
The timing of Gardner's report just happens to coincide with American Heart Month. Right now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in conjunction with other US government, state, and local agencies in conjunction with private organizations and companies has implemented the Million Hearts initiative.
The Million Hearts initiative aims to reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes by a total of 1 million over the next five years. The CDC asked Living Fit, Healthy and Happy to help them achieve this goal, so we've included a link to Million Hearts in our sidebar.
If you want to help improve the health and vitality of our nation, click on the link and take the pledge to lead a healthy lifestyle. By taking the pledge, you'll be doing a service not only to yourself and your loved ones, but your country as well.
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Gardener, H., Rundek, T., Markert, M., Wright, C., Elkind, M., & Sacco, R. (2012). Diet Soft Drink Consumption is Associated with an Increased Risk of Vascular Events in the Northern Manhattan Study Journal of General Internal Medicine DOI: 10.1007/s11606-011-1968-2
"Diet Soft Drinks Could Give You A Heart Attack" copyright 2012 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.