Before you crack open another diet soda, you may want to reconsider that beverage because of a new study by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association.
The study found drinking two or more artificially sweetened drinks a day can increase the risk of clot-based strokes, heart attacks and early death for women over the age of 50, according to CNN.
The drinks included not only low-calorie sodas but also teas and fruit drinks that contain artificial sweeteners, UPI reported.
>> Read more trending news
And the risk was highest for women who had no heart disease or diabetes history and for women who were obese or African-American, CNN reported.
Other studies had shown connections between diet drinks and stroke, dementia, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome.
“This is another confirmatory study showing a relationship between artificially sweetened beverages and vascular risks,” Dr. Ralph Sacco, American Academy of Neurology president, told CNN. Sacco did not conduct the study, but says the results are a “yellow flag.”
The author of the study now is asking, "Is it something about the sweeteners? Are they doing something to our gut health and metabolism? These are questions we need answered," Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani told CNN.
"Many well-meaning people, especially those who are overweight or obese, drink low-calorie sweetened drinks to cut calories in their diet. Our research and other observational studies have shown that artificially sweetened beverages may not be harmless and high consumption is associated with a higher risk of stroke and heart disease," Mossavar-Rahmani told UPI.
More than 80,000 women were part of the Women’s Health Initiative study where they were asked how often they drink a 12 ounce serving of a diet beverage over three months. They were tracked for an average of almost 12 years.
Click here to read the study results.