Stroke risk high among women who consume lots of diet drinks


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Older women who drink two or more artificially sweetened drinks a day are at a greatly increased risk of stroke, according to a new study published by the American Heart Association.
Women age 50 and older who consume two diet drinks per day are 31 percent more likely to have an ischemic stroke, the most common kind of stroke, which is caused by a clot. Researchers compared these women with women in the same age group who never consumed diet drinks or did so less than once a week.
The size of the soda and fruit drinks studied was 12 fluid ounces. The study did not say which type of artificial sweetener the beverages contained.
High consumers diet drinks were 29 percent more likely to develop heart disease, 16 percent more likely to die prematurely.
The American Heart Association says sugary drinks are not the answer either. It recommends water in place of drinks sweetened with sugar or substitutes.
The AHA offers these tips for making water more enticing:
Carry a refillable water bottle or have a permanent glass at your office desk.
Add slices of oranges, lemons or even cucumbers for an added boost of flavor.
Try seltzers or sparking water with a splash of 100 percent fruit juice.
Sources: ahajournals.org, heart.org