Reported link between diet drinks and dementia and stroke is weak

Conclusion The researchers used data from a large ongoing cohort study to look for links between consumption of sugary and artificially sweetened drinks and risk of stroke or dementia. This cohort study benefits from the large overall sample size, long period of data collection, careful and valid diagnostic assessments, and adjustments for a number of confounders. However, care must be taken when interpreting these results – particularly if latching on to the maximal tripled risk figures reported in the media. There are several points to consider: Small numbers The new number of strokes and dementia in this study was small, just 3% and 5% of the cohort, respectively. The most common category for consumption of artificially sweetened drinks in the full cohort was actually zero. The paper doesn't report how many of the 97 people with stroke or 81 with dementia were in the highest consumption categories, but it's likely to be few. The numbers will get even smaller when restricting to the 82 with ischaemic stroke and 63 with Alzheimer's. Analyses with smaller numbers can be less accurate, as indicated by the rather wide confidence intervals on the tripled associations. Variable consumption measures As said above, the researchers grouped consumption categories according to the most common response. The categories for the three different drinks aren't consistent, which makes it quite difficult to compare them with one another. Overall this makes it very difficult to conclude ...
Source: NHS News Feed - Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Food/diet Heart/lungs Neurology Source Type: news

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