Diet Drinks Linked With Heart Disease, Death - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Diet Drinks Linked With Heart Disease, Death

Posted: Updated:

(NBC News)- Women who drink the most diet sodas may also be more likely to develop heart disease and even to die, according to a new study published Saturday.

Researchers found women who drank two or more diet drinks a day were 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack or other cardiovascular “event,” and 50 percent more likely to die, than women who rarely touch such drinks.

The findings, being presented at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology, don’t suggest that the drinks themselves are killers. But women who toss back too many diet sodas may be trying to make up for unhealthy habits, experts say.

“Our study suggests an association between higher diet drink consumption and mortality,” said Dr. Ankur Vyas, a cardiovascular disease expert at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinic, who led the study.

“It’s not an extreme risk,” he added.

Research has long shown that artificially sweetened drinks are not health drinks. While they may help people avoid more dangerous sugary sodas, studies show they don't help people lose weight.

Vyas’s team studied nearly 60,000 middle-aged women taking part in a decade-long study of women’s health. They filled out a questionnaire on food and drinks as part of the study, including detailed questions on diet sodas and diet fruit drinks.

After just under nine years, the researchers checked to see what happened to the womens’ health. They found that 8.5 percent of the women who drank two or more diet drinks a day had some sort of heart disease, compared to 6.8 percent of those who drank four or fewer drinks a week and 7.2 percent in those who drank none or just a couple a month.

“We only found an association, so we can’t say that diet drinks cause these problems,” Vyas said.

And that’s a fairly low risk, given that heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the United States and is very, very common.

The women who drank the most drinks were also more likely to smoke, to be overweight, to have diabetes and to have high blood pressure, Vyas noted.

About one in five people in the U.S. consume diet drinks on a given day, according to federal survey data.


HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • UK palace releases Prince George's 4th birthday portrait

    UK palace releases Prince George's 4th birthday portrait

    Saturday, July 22 2017 4:38 PM EDT2017-07-22 20:38:54 GMT

    LONDON (AP) - Kensington Palace has released a portrait to mark Prince George's fourth birthday. The son of Prince William and his wife Kate celebrated his birthday Saturday. George, who is third in line to the throne, is beaming with a happy smile in the photo.

    More >>

    LONDON (AP) - Kensington Palace has released a portrait to mark Prince George's fourth birthday. The son of Prince William and his wife Kate celebrated his birthday Saturday. George, who is third in line to the throne, is beaming with a happy smile in the photo.

    More >>
  • Actor John Heard, of 'Home Alone' movies, dies at 71

    Actor John Heard, of 'Home Alone' movies, dies at 71

    Saturday, July 22 2017 4:33 PM EDT2017-07-22 20:33:16 GMT

    NEW YORK (AP) - Actor John Heard, best known for playing the father in the "Home Alone" movie series, has died. He was 71. His death was confirmed by the Santa Clara Medical Examiner's office in California on Saturday.

    More >>

    NEW YORK (AP) - Actor John Heard, best known for playing the father in the "Home Alone" movie series, has died. He was 71. His death was confirmed by the Santa Clara Medical Examiner's office in California on Saturday.

    More >>
  • Level 2 evacuations in place for brush fire burning off Highway 195 south of Spokane

    Level 2 evacuations in place for brush fire burning off Highway 195 south of Spokane

    Saturday, July 22 2017 4:24 PM EDT2017-07-22 20:24:39 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Firefighters have issued level 2 evacuation orders Saturday because of a wildfire burning off of S. Highway 195 near Wildflower Lane South of Spokane. Residents in the area should be ready to leave at a moments notice. Fire crews have been on the scene fighting the fire since Saturday morning and are battling the flames from the ground and in the air.

    More >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Firefighters have issued level 2 evacuation orders Saturday because of a wildfire burning off of S. Highway 195 near Wildflower Lane South of Spokane. Residents in the area should be ready to leave at a moments notice. Fire crews have been on the scene fighting the fire since Saturday morning and are battling the flames from the ground and in the air.

    More >>