Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Diet soda may raise odds of vascular events; salt linked to stroke risk
"Even if you drink diet soda - instead of the sugar variety - you could still have a much higher risk of vascular events compared to those who don't drink soda, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2011. In findings involving 2,564 people in the large, multi-ethnic Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS), scientists said people who drank diet soda every day had a 61 percent higher risk of vascular events than those who reported no soda drinking. "If our results are confirmed with future studies, then it would suggest that diet soda may not be the optimal substitute for sugar-sweetened beverages for protection against vascular outcomes," said Hannah Gardener, Sc.D., lead author and epidemiologist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Miami, Fla. In separate research using 2,657 participants also in the Manhattan study, scientists found that high salt intake, independent of the hypertension it causes, was linked to a dramatically increased risk of ischemic strokes (when a blood vessel blockage cuts off blood flow to the brain). In the study, people who consumed more than 4,000 milligrams (mg) per day of sodium had more than double the risk of stroke compared to those consuming less than 1,500 mg per day"