10/02/2011 08:56 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Fizzy Diet Drinks Linked To Heart Health Risk

Can't go without your daily can of cola? If so, you may be feeling proud of yourself for having switched from full-fat to diet varieties - after all, experts have been warning of the dangers of drinking fizzy sugary drinks for some time, thanks to the amount of sugar they contain.

woman-drinking-diet-cola-heart-risk Just one diet fizzy drink a day could cause heart problems. Photo: Getty, Ian Gavan

But now it seems you're not doing yourself any favours if you drink diet colas either. At least that's the claim of Miami-based scientists who have just presented the findings of their study at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference.

After analysing details collected from more than 2,500 people living in Manhattan, the experts have concluded that those who have fizzy diet drinks every day are 61% more likely to develop vascular problems - such as a heart attack or stroke - than those who never touch the stuff.

Quite what it is about diet colas that might increase your risk for heart problems isn't certain, however, as the scientists didn't look into the possibility that different additives or sweeteners used in different brands might have something to do with it.

"If our results are confirmed with future studies, then it would suggest that diet soda may not be the optimal substitute for sugar-sweetened beverages for protection against vascular outcomes," says the study's lead author Hannah Gardener.

So if you're trying to be healthy, it could be time to ditch fizzy drinks altogether (or at least cutting down to less than a can a day).

Could you kick the diet cola habit?

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