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Diet drinks increase heart disease risk

Researchers in Paris said both sugary and artificially sweetened drinks are associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. According to the findings of a new study published in the ‘Journal of the American College of Cardiology,’ diet drinks or artificially sweetened beverages may not be the healthy alternative they are often claimed to be. Previous studies have shown that diets, including beverages sweetened with sugar could have a negative impact on cardiometabolic health. Against this background, even artificially sweetened drinks have been suggested as a healthier alternative to sugar sweetened drinks, but their impact on cardiovascular health is not fully known.

The researchers analysed data from the French NutriNet-Santé cohort to investigate the relationship between the risk of cardiovascular disease and consuming sugary drinks and artificially sweetened drinks. The team analysed 104,760 participants who were asked to fill out three validated 24-hour dietary records every six months, and 1,379 of them had first cases of cardiovascular disease, the study found. Lead author of the study, Eloi Chazelas, said: “Our study suggests artificially sweetened beverages may not be a healthy substitute for sugar drinks.” Chazelas is a member of the Nutritional Epidemiology Research Team.

Sugary drinks consisted of all beverages containing five per cent or more sugar. For each beverage category, participants were divided into non-consumers, low consumers and high consumers. Researchers looked at first incident cases of cardiovascular disease during follow-up from 2009- 2019, which were defined as stroke, transient ischemic attack, myocardial infarction, acute coronary syndrome and angioplasty.

The 1,379 participants had first incident cases of cardiovascular disease. Compared to non-consumers, both higher consumers of sugary drinks and of artificially sweetened beverages had higher risks of first incident cardiovascular disease, after taking into account a wide range of confounding factors

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