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Skip Navigation LinksFebruary 2019 Featured Publication

Stroke. 2019 Mar;50(3):555-562. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.118.023100.

Artificially sweetened beverages and stroke, coronary heart disease, andall-cause mortality in the Women’s Health Initiative

Mossavar-Rahmani Y, Kamensky V, Manson JE, Silver B, Rapp SR, Haring B, Beresford SAA, Snetselaar L, Wassertheil-Smoller S.


Previous research indicates associations between high consumption of artificially sweetened beverages (ASB) and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. We investigated these associations by separating out stroke, its sub-types and also examined associations with coronary heart disease and death from all causes in 81,714 Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study participants. When comparing participants with high intake of ASB (defined as having two or more 12 fl oz. cans of diet drinks or more per day) to participants having no or less than once per week of diet drinks, there was an increased risk of stroke, particularly the clot-caused or ischemic stroke sub-type: small artery occlusion. There was also an increased risk of coronary heart disease and death from all causes. Although we need more research in this area, these findings add to the potentially harmful association of consuming high amounts of ASB with these health outcomes.

Please note: when these data were collected some of the newer NCS options were unavailable, including Stevia, a plant-based product as opposed to the synthetically created products like saccharine, aspartame or similar. We do not know whether there is a difference in outcomes but suggest caution until more data become available.