THURSDAY, Sept. 8, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Higher artificial sweetener consumption is associated with an increased cardiovascular disease risk, according to a study published online Sept. 7 in The BMJ.

Charlotte Debras, from Sorbonne Paris Nord University, and colleagues conducted a population-based prospective cohort study involving 103,388 participants of the NutriNet-Santé cohort to examine the associations between artificial sweeteners from all dietary sources and the risk for cardiovascular diseases.

The researchers observed an association for total artificial sweetener intake with an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases (hazard ratio, 1.09; absolute incidence rate in higher consumers and nonconsumers, 346 and 314 per 100,000 person-years, respectively). A stronger association was seen for artificial sweeteners with cerebrovascular disease risk (hazard ratio, 1.18; incidence rates, 195 and 150 per 100,000 person-years in higher consumers and nonconsumers, respectively). An increased risk for cerebrovascular events was seen in association with aspartame intake (hazard ratio, 1.17; incidence rates, 186 and 151 per 100,000 person-years in higher consumers and nonconsumers, respectively), while acesulfame potassium and sucralose were associated with an increased risk for coronary heart disease (hazard ratios, 1.40 [incidence rates, 167 and 164) and 1.31 [incidence rates, 271 and 161], respectively).

“Our results indicate that these food additives, consumed daily by millions of people and present in thousands of foods and beverages, should not be considered a healthy and safe alternative to sugar, in line with the current position of several health agencies,” the authors write.

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