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Diet drinks may harm older women’s health: study

April 2, 2014

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Iowa City, IA – Drinking two or more diet beverages a day may increase older women’s risk of having a heart attack, suggests a new study from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

The study involved 59,614 postmenopausal women who had completed a questionnaire about their diet drink habits during a three-month period. A follow-up more than eight years later revealed that women who consumed two or more drinks a day were 30 percent more likely to have a cardiovascular event and 50 percent more likely to die from a related condition, according to a press release.

Heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure and other heart events occurred in 8.5 percent of women who had two or more drinks a day, compared with 7.2 percent of women who had zero to three drinks a week.

High consumption of diet beverages was more likely among women who were young; smoked; and had diabetes, hypertension and a high body mass index, researchers found. They noted that although the study does not prove cause-and-effect, the link remained after they adjusted for demographic characteristics and individual risk factors.