According to a recent study, postmenopausal women who consume many diet drinks with artificial sweeteners have a significantly higher risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and strokes.
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The study included approximately 81,714 women who had participated in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study, a longitudinal study of the health of postmenopausal women between the ages of 50 and 79. Often artificial sweeteners were consumed irregularly (≤ 1 per week), but 5.1% of the women examined also consumed two or more sweetener-based diet drinks a day.
The results showed that women with the highest consumption of sweeteners had an almost 23% higher risk of stroke, a 31% higher risk of ischaemic stroke and a 29% higher risk of CHD compared to sporadic users. Total mortality among sweetener lovers was also 16% higher.
In addition, it was found that metabolic status and body weight can also have an influence on cardiovascular risk: Postmenopausal women who had no history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus reacted to increased sweetener consumption with more than twice the risk of ischemic stroke. Women with an elevated body mass index (BMI > 30 kg/m2) also had a significantly higher risk of stroke.
Mossavar-Rahmani Y et al, Artificially Sweetened Beverages, and Stroke, Coronary Heart Disease, and All-Cause Mortality in the Women's Health Initiative. Stroke 2019; doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.118.023100