Sugar drinks and artificial sweeteners are associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease .
The researchers looked at data from 104,760 people who took part in the French study NutriNet-Santé and completed three 24-hour diet diaries every six months.
Drinks with artificial sweeteners were identified as those containing non-nutritive sweeteners, while the category of sugary drinks included all beverages containing 5% or more sugar. For each beverage category, participants were divided into zero, low and high consumption categories.
The researchers looked at cardiovascular events during the follow-up period (2009-2019), namely strokes, transient ischemic attacks, heart attacks, acute coronary syndromes and angioplasty.
Of the participants, 1,379 suffered a cardiovascular event. Compared to those who did not consume sugary drinks, those who consumed high amounts had a higher risk of developing a first cardiovascular event.
“Our study suggests that artificial sweetener drinks may not be a healthy substitute for sugary drinks, and this data provides additional arguments for discussing taxation, labels and legislation on sugary drinks and beverages.” with artificial sweeteners “, notes the lead author of the study Dr. Eloi Chazelas from the Sorbonne University.
The researchers’ next step is to prove the causal link between sugary drinks and artificial sweetener drinks and cardiovascular disease, which requires the repetition of results in large-scale prospective studies.
The findings were published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.