Women who drink sugar sweetened beverages are at an increased risk of death from cardiovascular diseases

Women who drink sugar sweetened beverages are at an increased risk of death from cardiovascular diseases, researchers have warned.

The study, led by Harvard University researchers, found that drinking 1-4 sugary drinks per month was linked with a one per cent increased risk of death and 2-6 drinks per week with a six per cent increase.

The increased early death risk linked with sugar-sweetened beverages consumption was more pronounced among women than among men, the findings, published in the journal Circulation, showed.

"Our results provide further support to limit intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and to replace them with other beverages, preferably water, to improve overall health and longevity," said lead author Vasanti Malik.

However, drinking one artificially-sweetened beverage per day instead of carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks, fruit drinks, energy drinks, and sports drinks lowered the risk of premature death. 

For the study, the team analysed data from 80,647 women and 37,716 men. 

The study supports policies to limit marketing of sugary beverages to children and adolescents and for implementing soda taxes. 

Sugar-sweetened beverages should be no more than 10 per cent of daily calories from added sugars. 

Sugar-sweetened beverages intake is also on the rise in developing countries, spurred by urbanisation and beverage marketing, said the team.