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Dr Manny's Notes

No need to panic over diet soda heart risks

A new study has found that drinking diet soda every day is linked to higher rates of heart attack and stroke.

According to researchers from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, older adults who drank diet soda every day were 44 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke, compared with 22 percent of people who rarely or never drank diet soda but still had a heart attack or stroke.

But before any panic sets in, I want to add that the researchers clarified the study did not prove that diet soda alone was to blame.

Rather, it appears that people who drink diet soda every day are more likely to engage in other unhealthy habits – meaning the soda alone may not be the cause of heart attacks or strokes.

Among these other factors, the researchers said daily diet-soda drinkers tended to be heavier and more often had heart risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and unhealthy cholesterol levels.

In other words – while I would never recommend drinking diet soda daily as a good idea – if you’re counting calories, don’t be afraid to reach for diet instead of regular soda.  It’s highly unlikely you’ll suffer any heart problems as a result.

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Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's Senior Managing Editor for Health News. Prior to this position, Alvarez was a FNC medical contributor. Click here more information on Dr. Manny's work with Hackensack University Medical Center.
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