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Diet Drinks and Heart Problems in Older Women

KETK — You may want to think twice before you pop open another can of diet soda because researchers say the word "diet" may be misleading. A new study suggests women who drink two or more diet drinks a day are 30% more likely to have cardiovascular issues. 50% are more likely to die from heart attack. The decade-long study focused on 60,000 middle-aged women. They also found women who drink more than two diet sodas per day, are also more likely to smoke, be overweight, have diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Doctor Ray Kumar, cardiologist at Trinity Mother Frances in Tyler, believes some people may be slowly drinking to their death. He says diet drinks can hurt more than your heart, and "diet coke and coke actually seeps the calcium out of the bones of women and can predispose to bone fractures and hip fractures in older women." However, Kumar says its not clear whether or not what is causing the effects in women. "Does drinking the drink itself cause problems, or do women that drink those drinks tend to have more diabetes, and be a little heavier etc.," said Kumar.

Either way he recommends limiting your soda intake to only once or twice a week, and if you're going to drink soda in moderation, drink diet. "I would say to limit the diet coke, but you can still drink it every once in a while," said Kumar.

KETK asked some East Texans what they think. One woman that is a regular diet soda said, "I'm real healthy so I don't worry about it. I just don't believe all they say, they say one thing one time, and one thing another." While a man said, "because of all the stuff that's in them, I just don't drink sodas period."