Higher intake of artificially sweetened beverages (ASB) was associated with increased risk of stroke in women, particularly small artery occlusion subtype, coronary heart disease, and all-cause mortality, according to a recent study. The analytic cohort included 81,714 women from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, a multicenter longitudinal study of the health of 93,676 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 years at baseline who enrolled in 1993 to 1998. This prospective study had a mean follow-up time of 11.9 years (SD of 5.3 years.) Researchers found:
- Most participants (64.1%) were infrequent consumers (never or <1/week) of ASB, with only 5.1% consuming ≥2 ASBs/day.
- In multivariate analyses, those consuming the highest level of ASB compared to never or rarely (<1/week) had significantly greater likelihood of all end points (except hemorrhagic stroke), after controlling for multiple covariates.
- In women with no prior history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus, high consumption of ASB was associated with > a 2-fold increased risk of small artery occlusion ischemic stroke hazard ratio (HR)=2.44.
- High consumption of ASBs was associated with significantly increased risk of ischemic stroke in women with body mass index ≥30; HR=2.03.
Mossavar-Rahmani Y, Kamensky V, Manson JE, et al. Artificially sweetened beverages and stroke, coronary heart disease, and all-cause mortality in the Women’s Health Initiative. [Published online ahead of print February 14, 2019]. Stroke. doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.118.023100.