Diet soda consumption may up the odds of diabetic
retinopathy (DR), according to a study published online in Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology.

Eva K. Fenwick, PhD, from University of Melbourne in
Australia, and colleagues surveyed 609 adult patients with diabetes with a Food
Frequency Questionnaire to assess the relationship between regular and diet
soft drink consumption and DR and diabetic macular oedema (DME).

The researchers found that 46.8 % of participants consumed
diet soft drinks and 31.2% consumed regular soft drinks. A total of 37.8% had
no DR, 5.9% had mild non-proliferative DR (NPDR), 25.3% had moderate NPDR, 4.6%
had severe NPDR, and 24.0% had proliferative DR (PDR). Compared to those with no
diet soft drink consumption, there was an independent association between high
diet soft drink consumption and increased likelihood of having PDR (odds ratio,
2.51). There was no association seen between regular soft drink consumption and
DR or DME.

“Consuming >4 cans (1.5 liters)/week of diet soft
drink is associated with a more than two-fold risk of having PDR in patients
with diabetes,” the authors write.