Older women should say no to diet drinks
According to new research presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 63rd Annual Scientific Session, healthy post-menopausal women who drink two or more diet drinks a day maybe more likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular issue.
Researchers analyzed both diet drink intakes and heart risk factors of 59,614 participants in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. They discovered that compared to women who never (or rarely) consume diet drinks, those who consumed two or more a day were 30 percent more likely to suffer a cardiac event and 50 percent more likely to die from related disease. The average age of the women in the study was 62.8.
The researchers were also quick to point out that women who consumed two or more diet drinks a day were younger, more likely to be smokers, and had a higher prevalence of diabetes, hypertension and higher body mass index. Lead investigator Dr. Ankur Vyas, fellow, Cardiovascular Diseases, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, points out in a news release, “We only found an association, so we can’t say that diet drinks cause these problems.”
Heart disease is the number one killer of women, according to the American Heart Association, and is responsible for 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute. An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease.
When it comes to offering an alternative beverage to diet drinks, it’s a pretty easy recommendation.
“There’s really no substitute for the health benefits of drinking water,” says Dr. Jennifer DeBruler, an internal medicine physician with Advocate Medical Group. “From helping to maintain a normal body temperature to facilitating a healthy digestive system, water is really a better choice than even lower-sugar, diet drinks.”
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