A study involving almost 60,000 healthy postmenopausal women correlated diet drinks with increased risk of heart attack, stroke or a cardiovascular event.
"Our findings are in line with and extend data from previous studies showing an association between diet drinks and metabolic syndrome," lead investigator Dr. Ankur Vyas of University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics said in a statement. "We were interested in this research because there was a relative lack of data about diet drinks and cardiovascular outcomes and mortality."
Consumption data were obtained via a questionnaire that asked the women to report their diet drink consumption habits over the previous three months. A drink was defined as the equivalent of a 12-ounce beverage and included both diet sodas and diet fruit drinks.
After an average follow-up of 8.7 years, women who drank two or more diet drinks per day were 30 percent more likely to suffer a cardiovascular event and 50 percent more likely to die from related disease compared to women who never or only rarely consumed diet drinks.