A study presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2011 has reportedly linked daily diet soda consumption “to a higher risk of stroke, heart attack and vascular-related deaths.” Led by University of Miami scientist Hannah Gardener, researchers analyzed soft drink consumption for 2,564 people enrolled in the Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS), grouping participants into seven categories ranging from those who drank less than one soda of any kind per month, to those who reported daily regular or diet soda consumption. The study results evidently showed that, after an average follow-up of 9.3 years, participants who drank one diet soda every day “had a 61 percent higher risk of vascular events than those who reported no soda drinking.”

“This study suggests that diet soda is not an optimal substitute to sugarsweetened beverages, and may be associated with a greater risk of stroke,” Gardener was quoted as saying. She added, however, that “diet soda drinkers need to stay tuned” for further studies before changing their behaviors. See Stroke Conference 2011 News Release, MSNBC.com and ABC News, February 9, 2011.