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Study: Diet soda linked with heart disease and even death

Soda rootbeer

It’s a lot lighter on the waistline but the trade-off could be fatal.

A new study links diet drinks to heart disease.

Researchers say women who drink 2 or more diet sodas a day are 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack and 50 percent more likely to die from the ailment than women who never drink diet soda.

NBC News reported the findings, being presented at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology, don’t suggest that the drinks themselves are killers.

Experts said women who toss back too many diet sodas may be trying to make up for unhealthy habits.

The team at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinic studied nearly 60,000 middle-aged women taking part in a decade-long study of women’s health.

They filled out a questionnaire on food and drinks as part of the study, including detailed questions on diet sodas and diet fruit drinks.

“Our study suggests an association between higher diet drink consumption and mortality,” Dr. Ankur Vyas said, a cardiovascular disease expert at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinic, who led the study.

“We only found an association, so we can’t say that diet drinks cause these problems,” Vyas said.

The women who drank the most drinks were also more likely to smoke, to be overweight, to have diabetes and to have high blood pressure, Vyas noted.