People who consume diet drinks every day are almost three times more likely to suffer a stroke or dementia, research suggests.
Having at least one diet drink a day increased the risk compared to consuming less than one diet drink a week, a study found.
However, researchers found no link between sugary drinks and an increased risk of stroke and dementia, although they warned people not to view sugary drinks as a “healthy option”.
The new research, published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke, is based on data for more than 4,300 people taking part in the Framingham Heart Study.
Those in the stroke arm of the study were over the age of 45, while those in the dementia arm were over 60.
All participants filled in questionnaires on their food and drink intake at three separate points during the 1990s.
Researchers then followed the group for 10 years, noting 97 cases of stroke during that period and 81 cases of dementia (63 cases were specifically Alzheimer’s disease).
After adjusting for factors that could influence the results, such as age, sex, education, calorie intake, exercise and smoking, people who had at least one diet drink a day had an almost three times increased risk of dementia or stroke.