Today’s Headlines: Diet Drinks, Being Underweight and Spring Allergies

Diet drinks raise heart concern in postmenopausal women: “Diet drinks may increase the risk of heart attacks, stroke and other heart problems in postmenopausal women, according to an informal study that could take some fizz out of enjoyment of the popular beverages.” The study’s data came from an analysis of nearly 60,000 participants in the Women’s Health Initiative. The women studied had an average age of 62.8 and no prior history of cardiovascular disease. Compared to women who never or rarely drink diet beverages, women who drank two or more diet drinks a day were 30% more likely to have a cardiovascular event and 50% more likely to die from “related disease.” (Reuters)

Like obesity, being underweight is also tied to earlier death: Being underweight may raise the risk of premature death even more than being obese does, according to a new study. Researchers looked at data from 51 studies examining the link between BMI and deaths from any cause in both adults and newborns. They found that “adults with a BMI classed as underweight (under 18.50 or less) had a 1.8 times higher risk of dying from any cause than adults with a BMI classed as normal.” For people who classify as obese (BMI between 30 and 35), the risk of dying prematurely was 1.2 times higher than people with a normal BMI. (Medical News Today) 

Worst U.S. cities for spring allergies: Just because winter weather seems to be lingering into what should be the spring season doesn’t mean allergies aren’t already starting to pop up across the country. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, millions of Americans are already complaining of seasonal allergies. The organization just released their annual list of worst places for spring allergies. “Topping the list this year are Louisville, Kentucky; Memphis, Tennessee; and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. These so-called allergy capitals are ranked based on pollen levels, use of allergy medications and the number of board-certified allergists in the area.” (CNN)