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Study Suggests Link Between Diet Sodas, Preterm Delivery
Date:8/24/2010

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Could drinking one or more artificially sweetened, carbonated diet sodas a day boost a woman's odds of premature delivery? A new study from Denmark suggests such a link.

The researchers looked at the soft drink habits of nearly 60,000 Danish women enrolled in a national study there from 1996 to 2002.

The investigators found a link between the intake of diet carbonated drinks and, to a lesser extent, diet noncarbonated drinks and delivering a baby early.

The study is published online and in the September print issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

In the report, the researchers conclude: "Daily intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks may increase the risk of preterm delivery."

The researchers defined preterm as delivering before 37 weeks' gestation. They categorized the women into groups depending on beverage drinking habits: those who never drank soft drinks or those who drank less than one per week, one to six per week, one each day, two or three per day, or four or more daily.

In all, 4.6 percent of the women delivered early, and one-third of those deliveries were medically induced.

The team found no association between the premature delivery and the intake of carbonated drinks sweetened with sugar.

However, compared with those who never drank the beverages, women who downed four or more diet (artificially sweetened) carbonated drinks a day were 78 percent more likely to deliver early than women who never drank the beverages. And those who had four or more diet, noncarbonated drinks daily were 29 percent more likely to deliver early.

Those who had one or more carbonated diet drinks a day were 38 percent more likely to deliver early.

Why the diet drinks, especially, were linked with early delivery is not known, but the researchers speculate that the link may be drive
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