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Since the introduction of Diet Coke in 1982, artificially sweetened drinks have become increasingly ubiquitous in the American diet. In fact, according to a 2018 consumer survey, more than half of all Americans age 18 to 49 drank at least one Diet Coke at some point in the past four weeks. So it's hardly surprising that epidemiologists are studying the effects the zero-calorie sweeteners have on our health. The most recent study, published this week in the journal Stroke, drew conclusions that sound worrying: In postmenopausal women, drinking two or more of these beverages a day were linked to an earlier risk of stroke, heart disease, and early death.
The study collected diet and health information from more than 80,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79 as part of the Women’s Health Initiative, a longitudinal health study created in 1991 by the National Institutes of Health. The authors looked specifically for a connection between the consumption of diet sodas and other artificially sweetened beverages (like Snapple, Vitamin Water, or Crystal Light) and stroke, heart disease, and overall mortality.
First - Things - Authors - Confounding - Factors
First things first: the authors did take confounding factors into account. That means the conclusions are after considering the characteristics we already know influence a person’s chances of having a stroke or heart disease,...
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