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Martha Gipprich | Healthcare

Healthcare and medicine in Berks County, Pennsylvania

Diet Sodas are Linked to Strokes and Heart Attacks

Diet Sodas are Linked to Strokes and Heart Attacks

According to a study conducted by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, drinking more than two diet sodas, or other artificially sweetened drinks is linked to an increased risk of strokes, heart attacks, and early death in women over the age of 50.

In previous research, diet drinks have also been linked with stroke, dementia, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Other research has indicated that there is a relationship between diet beverages and vascular risks.

With so many negative consequences many are asking what is it about these diet beverages that leads to such harsh health problems?

Over 80,000 postmenopausal women participated in this long-term national study. Over the course of about 11 years, participants’ health outcomes were tracked and the number of diet beverages they consumed a day was recorded. By the end of the study, researchers found that women who consumed two or more 12-fluid-ounce diet beverages a day, were 31% more likely to have a clot-based stroke. Additionally researchers found that 29% were more likely to have heart disease. Most interestingly of all, women who drank more than two diet beverages are 16% more likely to die before women who drink one or no diet beverages a week.

Risk for stroke and heart attacks dramatically rose for women if they had no history of heart disease or diabetes and women who were obese or African-American.
Women who were of normal weight or who were considered overweight were no at risk for stroke. As long as the participants body mass index was under 30, there was no association of risk.
While this study and previous research helps to establish a connection between diet beverages and vascular disease, there is no causation. As of right now, these findings are purely observational and there is no evident cause and effect. Researchers are still unable to determine if the link to vascular disease is due to a specific sweetener or beverage.
Due to the lack of cold-hard evidence, many organizations deem non-sugar sweeteners to be a better alternative to actual sugary drinks. Vice president of media and public affairs for the American Beverage Association, William Dermody Jr., argues that artificial sweeteners are a tool for those who want to reduce their sugar consumption.
Dermody isn’t wrong by stating that diet artificial sweeteners are a great tool for those looking to lose weight. The American Heart Association issued a statement last year saying that diet drinks may be an effective strategy to promote weight loss, but only in the short term and for adults, not children.

For Martha Gipprich, a career in healthcare wasn’t something she decided to do but rather felt called to do. From the time she was in elementary school, Martha loved to help people and by the time she reached college she knew that healthcare was where she wanted to be. She attended Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she received her Bachelor of Health Sciences in May 2008 and then subsequently earned her Master’s of Physician Assistant in August 2009.

Currently, Martha is working at Sunrise Pediatrics in Reading, Pennsylvania as a Physician Assistant where she’s been since June 2016. Here she has a number of responsibilities as she works with both acute and chronic pediatric patients to help both evaluate and treat them. Martha handles reviewing and assessing all incoming patient results including lab tests, consults, and x-rays. She excels in fast-paced environments, and at Sunrise she sees up to 6 patients an hour to better serve the people in her care.

Prior to working at Sunrise Pediatrics, Martha Gipprich worked at Collegeville Medical Center from December 2014 to May 2016 as a full-time Physician Assistant and Office Manager. Here she balanced dual responsibilities that included working with clients and making sure the office was operating smoothly. She managed the healthcare staff and office, ordered office and medical supplies, and crafted successful weight loss and medicine protocol while also performing her duties as a Physician Assistant which included examining and evaluating patients, performing injections, and ordering diagnostic testing when necessary. She was also responsible for streamlining laboratory tasks like venipuncture, interpreting serum allergy tests, and processing blood and urine tests.

Previously, Martha worked for over a year as a Physician Assistant at Patient First Urgent Care in Pottstown, PA. While at Patient First, she met with an average of 4-5 patients an hour whom she diagnosed and treated across an array of medical needs include strep throat, fractured bones, and coronary syndromes.

Alongside her day to day work, Martha Gipprich’s natural inquisitiveness and eagerness to learn have prompted a love for research, as well. Through Drexel University, Martha has begun taking classes on clinical research in their Certificate of Study in Clinical Research Online program in the hopes of incorporating this into her profession in the future.

Outside of work, Martha is the proud mother of her one year old son, who she loves more than anything. Currently, Martha and her partner are renovating their home, which is taking up quite a bit of their time outside of work; when they do like to enjoy their downtime, they like vacationing in Asbury Park, NJ and visiting Longwood Gardens.