The American Stroke Association presented a study on the link between diet soda and an increased risk of having a stroke or heart attack at their International Stroke Conference this week.
The LA Times reports that the study, which began in 2003, asked over 2,500 people about their soda intake. Their health was then monitored in the following years.
More than 550 cardiovascular events occurred during that time frame. Researchers found that those who reported drinking diet soda every day had a 60% higher rate of these events, which included strokes and heart attacks.
After compensating for other factors which may increase the likelihood of heart troubles — they still found that the risk was 48% higher for the diet soda drinkers.
What came from the study was a link, not necessarily a cause and effect. Meaning: The study does not prove anything regarding diet soda consumption causing strokes, only that there may have been a link between the two.
After the bad rep that aspartame — a key ingredient in many diet sodas — has gotten, we are unsure as to how this is information is any more useful that what we’ve already heard. We already knew that diet soda was bad for us. But for that matter, so is regular soda and anything else we actually enjoy consuming. Thanks, science!
The self-report based study fails to give us any real reason to stop drinking Diet Coke. How many of you have ever been less than truthful on health based survey? Hmm? We have a hunch that those health conscious people who truly care about the results of this study probably don’t drink diet soda, anyway.
As the vice-chairman of the stroke-meeting conference committee put it, “You try to control for everything, but you can’t.”