December 19, 2018
2 min read

Diet soda consumption associated with increased risk of diabetic retinopathy

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Researchers found that patients with diabetes who consumed more than four cans per week of a diet soft drink had a more-than-twofold risk of having proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

A total of 609 adult participants with diabetes (73 with type 1, 510 with type 2) were recruited to explore the association between regular and diet soft drink consumption and diabetic retinopathy (DR) and macular edema.

A total of 285 participants consumed diet soft drinks, and 190 consumed regular soft drinks. One hundred twenty-seven and 129 individuals provided no information on diet and regular soft drink consumption, respectively.

A total of 230 adults had no DR, 36 had mild nonproliferative DR, 154 had moderate nonproliferative DR (NPDR), 28 had severe NPDR, and 146 had proliferative DR.

They found that regular soft drink consumption was not associated with DR or diabetic macular edema (DME).

When compared to no consumption, consuming high amounts of diet soft drink (more than four cans per week) was significantly associated with increased odds of having PDR, according to researchers.

Diet soft drink consumption was not associated with presence or severity of DME. Similarly, regular soft drink consumption was not significantly associated with presence or severity of DR or presence or severity of DME.

“These findings support the overall body of evidence suggesting that regular and frequent consumption of artificially sweetened beverages may have detrimental vascular outcomes,” researchers wrote. – by Abigail Sutton

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.