Soda Consumption Associated with Stroke


Soda Consumption Associated with Stroke

In April 2012, researchers reported that consumption of soda is associated with an increased risk of stroke. According to the American Stroke Association, approximately 795,000 Americans each year suffer a new or recurrent stroke, and stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

The subjects included 84,085 women from the Nurses’ Health Study and 43,371 men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. The women were followed for 28 years and the men were followed for 22 years. Researchers collected data regarding soda consumption and followed the subjects for stroke occurrences.

The researchers determined that 1,416 men and 2,938 women suffered a stroke during the follow-up period. The data showed that ingestion of one serving of a sugar-sweetened or low-calorie soda per day, compared with no soda ingestion, increased the risk of stroke by 16 percent.

Compared to ingesting one sugar-sweetened soda per day, ingesting a cup of decaffeinated coffee reduced the risk of stroke by 10 percent. Also, compared to one sugar-sweetened soda per day, drinking a cup of caffeinated coffee reduced the risk of stroke by nine percent. The researchers found similar estimated reductions in risk for substitution of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee for low-calorie soda as well.

The study authors concluded, “Greater consumption of sugar-sweetened and low-calorie sodas was associated with a significantly higher risk of stroke. This risk may be reduced by substituting alternative beverages for soda.”

Bernstein AM, et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Apr 4. [Epub ahead of print.]

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