HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) --
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) --It's an age-old debate -- diet soda versus regular soda?
Many people switch to drinking diet soda, thinking it's lower in calories so it's better for your health.
However, a new study out from the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association shows that drinking two or more diet sodas a day increases the risk for clot-based strokes and heart disease among women who are over the age of 50.
"I would think diet would be better for you," said Amy White. "There is no sugar in it."
This was a long-term study that looked at over 80,000 women. It found that women who drank more than two diet drinks a day were 23 percent more likely to have a stroke, 31 percent more likely to have a clot-related stroke and 29 percent more likely to develop heart disease.
Researchers also found the risk was even greater among certain groups of women, including those who were overweight and didn't have a history of heart disease or diabetes at the start of the study and women who were African American.
However, those involved in the study say there is a big takeaway. This doesn't necessarily prove a cause and effect.
Researchers say it is almost impossible to determine where the association is due to a specific artificial sweetener, a type of drink or another hidden health issue.
However, health experts say more and more of these studies are coming up with the same associations, raising red flags about the link between diet sodas and health risks.
The American Heart Association says "it realizes diet drinks may help replace high calorie, sugary beverages, but recommends water as the best choice for a no calorie drink."
Several women we talked with said they cut out diet soda a while ago.
"It was tough (to give it up)," said Amy White. "But after two, three, or four weeks, I drank water and not soda."
"I would drink soda all day long," said Kristi Adkins. "I didn't drink anything else. But I'm scared to think about what I've done to myself drinking all that artificial sweetener all those years."
To see a link to the study, click here.
Source : https://www.wsaz.com/content/news/Study-Diet-drinks-linked-to-higher-rate-of-stroke-heart-disease-among-women-over-50-505913371.html