Drinking diet soft drinks, such as Diet Coke, every day increase your risk of dying young, say experts. Indulging in such beverages increases the risk of a stroke and heart disease by almost a third, according to new research.

According to a new study by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, drinking two or more of any kind of artificially sweetened drinks a day is linked to an increased risk of clot-based strokes, heart attacks and early death in women over 50. It tends to narrow the blood vessels that supply the heart with blood, thus increasing the risk of a heart attack or a stroke.

The Australian Heart Foundation states, “Our research and other observational studies have shown that artificially sweetened beverages may not be harmless and high consumption is associated with a higher risk of stroke and heart disease.”

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The new study looked at over 80,000 women, to be precise 82,000 postmenopausal women. The health data that was drawn stated that among the participants, 5.1% were found to be “heavy” consumers of artificially sweetened drinks. That group “had a significantly greater likelihood” of strokes and coronary heart disease. Nearly two-thirds of the women consumed diet sodas or drinks very infrequently, meaning less than once a week or never.

Dr Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani, the lead author of the study, told CNN,  “Many well-meaning people, especially those who are overweight or obese, drink low-calorie sweetened drinks to cut calories in their diet.”

Diet sodas are often considered to be healthier alternatives to sugary beverages. The study found that consuming two or more low-calorie sweetened drinks a day increased a woman’s chances of a stroke by 23 per cent, compared with women who drank them less than once a week. They were also 29 per cent more likely to develop heart disease, and 16 per cent more likely to die from any cause during the 12 years covered by the trial.

Picture Credit: Business Insider

Sonakshi Goel is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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