(WREG-TV) Older healthy women who consume two or more diet drinks per day are at higher risk for heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular problems, according to a new study presented this week at the American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session in Washington D.C.
These women were 30 percent more likely to experience a cardiovascular event and 50 percent more likely to die from a disease associated with heart problems than women who rarely, or never, drank artificially flavored beverages.
The study of 59,614 post-menopausal women is based on data from the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study and is, thus far, the largest study conducted on heart health and diet beverage consumption.
The researchers used questionnaires to assess consumption of diet drinks over the prior three months, and then administered a follow-up questionnaire a year later.
Dr. Karen Johnson is the interim chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and joined us to discuss the concerns.