Is diet soda stroke in a can?

More bad news for diet soda lovers.

If you’re a woman over 50, it may be time to reconsider popping open that diet drink.

New research published in Stroke, a journal of the American Heart, association reveals women who are 50 years old and above, and drink more than one aspartame diet soda a day, are significantly at risk to have a stroke or a heart attack.

Women over 50 are typically trying to keep a healthy weight during and after menopause. This new study says reaching for a glass of water, rather than a diet soda could actually save your life.

The study looked at more than 80,000 women aged 50-79. They were tracked for more than 10 years in this longitudinal study. The findings were startling.

Women 50 and above:

  • Were 31 percent more likely to develop a stroke caused by a clot
  • Were 23 percent more likely to have a stroke
  • Were 29 percent more likely to develop heart disease, and at risk for a heart attack
  • Were 16 percent more likely to die by any cause.

The study can be found here:

The study also discovered that those who drank 2 or more diet drinks a day – even without previous heart disease or diabetes in their family lineage –were nearly 2 ½ times more likely to have a stroke caused by a blood clot. For African American women, it skyrocketed to nearly 4 times more likely.

The study shows an association, not a cause-and-effect correlation, but still heeds a warning.

The study did not focus on the actual ingredients of the artificially sweetened beverages, so it’s hard to pinpoint which artificial sweeteners are causing the harm.

Also, whether or not the findings would apply to men or younger women, remains unclear.

Besides the increased risk of stroke for women 50 and above, there is mounting evidence that frequent consumption of diet beverages have been linked to a higher risk of obesity, dementia and Type 2 diabetes to name a few.

The bottom line?

When reaching to quench that thirst, grab some more water.