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Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 May;95(5):1190-9. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.030205. Epub 2012 Apr 4.

Soda consumption and the risk of stroke in men and women.

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  • 1Wellness Institute of Cleveland Clinic, Lyndhurst, OH 44124, USA.



Consumption of sugar-sweetened soda has been associated with an increased risk of cardiometabolic disease. The relation with cerebrovascular disease has not yet been closely examined.


Our objective was to examine patterns of soda consumption and substitution of alternative beverages for soda in relation to stroke risk.


The Nurses' Health Study, a prospective cohort study of 84,085 women followed for 28 y (1980-2008), and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, a prospective cohort study of 43,371 men followed for 22 y (1986-2008), provided data on soda consumption and incident stroke.


We documented 1416 strokes in men during 841,770 person-years of follow-up and 2938 strokes in women during 2,188,230 person-years of follow-up. The pooled RR of total stroke for ≥ 1 serving of sugar-sweetened soda/d, compared with none, was 1.16 (95% CI: 1.00, 1.34). The pooled RR of total stroke for ≥ 1 serving of low-calorie soda/d, compared with none, was 1.16 (95% CI: 1.05, 1.28). Compared with 1 serving of sugar-sweetened soda/d, 1 serving of decaffeinated coffee/d was associated with a 10% (95% CI: 1%, 19%) lower risk of stroke and 1 serving of caffeinated coffee/d with a 9% (95% CI: 0%, 17%) lower risk. Similar estimated reductions in risk were seen for substitution of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee for low-calorie soda.


Greater consumption of sugar-sweetened and low-calorie sodas was associated with a significantly higher risk of stroke. This risk may be reduced by substituting alternative beverages for soda.

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