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By Jessica Kartalija

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Cola concern. New research links diet soda to strokes and heart attacks.

Jessica Kartalija explains what’s behind this study.

If swapping regular for diet soda seems like a smarter selection, think again. A study of more than 2,500 people found those drinking diet soda had a 61 percent higher risk of stroke or heart attack than those who steer clear of soft drinks altogether.

Dr. James Ricely, a cardiologist at St. Joseph Medical Center, is skeptical.

“It’s the first study that has ever implicated diet soda as a risk for stroke and heart attack,” Ricely said.

Ricely says these may have had other risk factors that weren’t taken into account.

“High blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, particularly. That’s the reversible factor that you can eliminate,” Ricely said. “You find those things that you can work on, and you work on them.”

Soda drinkers we spoke with say despite what the study finds, they’re not ready to drop these diet drinks just yet.

“Like people hooked to coffee, I’m hooked to soda,” said one soft drink consumer.

“Everything, nowadays, they say, is linked to something or another,” said another. “So hopefully it’s good for me. I don’t know. We’ll see.”

Ricely says water is always your best bet, but you don’t need to write off the diet drinks just yet.

“If you like the beverages, until there is more definitive information, I think you continue doing what you’re doing,” Ricely said.

Ricely says the best way to prevent heart disease or stroke is to talk to your doctor, and develop a health regimen that fits your lifestyle.

Comments (10)
  1. i love food says:

    we all are going to die one day eat and drink what you want

  2. Ken says:

    Cannot be any worse then the side effects you see from the prescription drugs advertized on tv, and they are prescribed by doctors.

    1. icare says:

      OMG those tv commercials for all the friggin different kind of drugs friggin scare me!! I think they are all bad news! I heard that one of the side effects on one is suicide, and this is prescribed by doctors??? What is friggin wrong with this picture??? That is some BS! If I have an issue, I want a natural cure!! smdh

    2. Frances Brashears says:

      A-MAN Ken… couldn’t have said it better in a lifetime.

  3. Matt says:

    curious to know the results of this study that include the current health of the participants. i would be willing to bed most of these people have other health conditions that resulted in strokes and heart attacks.

  4. hates_diet_soda_anyway says:

    This is silly. I hate studies like this. I wonder how many of these “higher risk” people were already overweight and were drinking diet soda to loose some. Also, what is “higher risk” anyway.

  5. Stephanie says:

    We are looking to also create a page like this for our dieting website. Can anyone help?


  6. MikwW says:

    i haven’t too much faith in these researc finds,for the most part i think they are just a bunch of BS,by people who are probably waaaaay overpaid and have nothing better to do with their time

  7. karena bogier says:

    just bad

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