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Drinking diet soda daily could boost risk for stroke or heart attack

If you imbibe diet soda daily, a new study announced on Tuesday warns that you could be at increased risk of a stroke or heart attack.

Data were analyzed from 2,564 participants in the NIH-funded Northern Manhattan Study, with researchers examining how often individuals drank soft drinks -- diet and regular -- and the number of strokes and heart attacks that occurred over a 10-year period.

They found that those who drank diet soft drinks daily were 43 percent more likely to have suffered heart attacks or strokes than those who drank none. Light diet soft drink users, meaning "those who drank between one a month and six a week," and those who chose regular soft drinks were not more likely to suffer vascular health problems, according to a press release.

Findings were published on January 26 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

In other recent research, a 10-year study from the University of Texas in the United States revealed that people who drank two or more diet sodas a day gained 70 percent more abdominal fat than those in the study who didn't drink diet soda.

Abdominal fat is a major risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, as well as other chronic conditions, the researchers said.

Another study from the same university found that the artificial sweetener aspartame raised blood sugar levels in mice prone to diabetes.

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