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Intake of artificially sweetened beverages has been linked to cardiometabolic risk factors, which increase the risk of cerebrovascular disease and dementia.
In 2888 participants, the Framingham Heart Study Offspring cohort evaluated the association between the consumption of sugary or artificially sweetened beverages to stroke or dementia risks. Drinking intake was quantified using a food frequency questionnaire.
There were 97 cases of stroke (82 ischemic) and 81 cases of incidental dementia (63 compatible with Alzheimer's disease).
The higher consumption of artificially sweetened soft drinks was associated with a higher risk of ischemic stroke, dementia of all causes and dementia due to Alzheimer's disease, after adjusting for age, gender, education (for dementia analysis), caloric intake, diet, physical activity and smoking. Sugar-sweetened beverages were not associated with stroke or dementia. The authors conclude that consumption of artificially sweetened soda is associated with an increased risk of stroke and dementia.
Reference: Matthew P. Pase, Jayandra J. Himali, Alexa S. Beiser, Hugo J. Aparicio, Claudia L. Satizabal, Ramachandran S. Vasan, Sudha Seshadri, Paul F. Jacques. Sugar- and Artificially Sweetened Beverages and the Risks of Incident Stroke and Dementia A Prospective Cohort Study. Stroke. 2017;48:1139-1146. Originally published April 24, 2017