Researchers recently discovered a potential link between drinking artificially sweetened beverages and an increase risk of stroke or dementia.
The authors of the study, which appeared in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke, called for further research on the connection.
“Our study shows a need to put more research into this area given how often people drink artificially-sweetened beverages,” Matthew Pase, a senior fellow in the department of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine, Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, and the Framingham Heart Study, said in a press release.
The study tracked 2,888 people for seven years and monitored what they were drinking over that time. They then followed up with the participants 10 years later to see if any had developed stroke or dementia.
They found that 97 cases, or 3 percent, had strokes and 81 cases, or 5 percent had dementia.
“Even if someone is three times as likely to develop stroke or dementia, it is by no means a certain fate,” Pase said. “In our study, three percent of the people had a new stroke and five percent developed dementia, so we're still talking about a small number of people developing either stroke or dementia.”
Researchers also note that the participants were largely Caucasian, which is a limitation of the study.