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A Diet Soda a Day May Give You a Heart Attack

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Written By Jill Ettinger

Bad news for diet soda drinkers, according to a study published in the most recent issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine. The study results found that drinking diet soda daily significantly increases the risk of developing a stroke, heart attack and other serious vascular issues.

Conducted by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center, the study, titled "Diet Soft Drink Consumption is Associated with an Increased Risk of Vascular Events in the Northern Manhattan Study," observed the soda habits of more than 2,500 individuals over a 10-year period. According to the research, people who drank diet soda on a daily basis were 43 percent more likely to suffer a stroke or heart attack than those who didn't drink any diet soda, even if pre-existing vascular conditions existed. And those who drank less than than one diet soda per day were also less likely to be at risk of having a stroke or heart attack than those who consumed at least one a day.

The specific causal factor in diet soda's connection to heart attacks and stroke was not clear, despite the correlation, according to study authors. In a statement, researcher Hannah Gardener said, "Results suggest a potential association between daily diet soft drink consumption and vascular outcomes. However, the mechanisms by which soft drinks may affect vascular events are unclear."

Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharin, which are commonly found in most diet sodas, have long been connected with health issues including tinnitus, headaches, nervous system disorders and certain types of cancer.

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