According to the American Stroke Association, strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States, and a recent study has established a link between drinking diet soda and strokes. The data did not establish a cause effect relationship, and the exact reason for this link is still under investigation.
During the study period, 21% of the research participants had a vascular event , and after researchers adjusted for other factors including age, alcohol consumption, calorie intake, ethnicity, exercise habits, gender, and smoking, those who drank diet soda were 61% more likely to experience a vascular event compared to those who drank no soda .
Preliminary thoughts as to why there is a link draw from previous research that has shown those who drink more than one soda (diet or regular) per day are more likely to have metabolic syndrome, and metabolic syndrome raises the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The American Heart Association states that metabolic syndrome is characterized by a group of risk factors including disproportionate amount fat tissue in and around the abdomen, high blood pressure, insulin resistance/glucose intolerance, high fibrinogen or plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 in the blood, and/or elevated C-Reactive Protein in the blood.