The increased early death risk was more pronounced among women than men.
The study also found one artificially sweetened beverage (ASB) per day instead of a sugary one lowered the risk of premature death. Each additional serving per day of SSBs was linked with a ten per cent higher risk of CVD-related death. However, this is the first research to link early death with SSB intake.
Added sugars should make up less than 10 percent of the total calories a person consumes per day, according to federal health guidelines. "Diet soda may be used to help frequent consumers of sugary drinks cut back their consumption, but water is the best and healthiest choice".
The study also found sugary drinks were associated with a 31 percent increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease for both men and women.
Why the risk is higher for women: Scientists can't say for certain why there is such a stark difference in risk between men and women, but they do have theories.
Exactly what is different about women that increases the association between consuming artificially sweetened beverages and the risk of dying prematurely, requires more research, Mossavar-Rahmani said. They analyzed questionnaire-reported dietary and other lifestyle data from 80,647 women (aged 30-55 years) in the Nurses' Health Study (NHS), between 1980-2014, and from 37,716 men aged 40-75 years in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS; 1986-2014). The intake of SSB has reduced, but among adults, SSB consumption has increased.
"It is likely study subjects were already at a greater risk for these conditions and chose low-calorie sweetened beverages to manage their calorie and sugar intake, as these products are proven safe and beneficial for those managing their weight and blood glucose levels", he said in a statement. Only a few connected SSB intake with mortality.
People who consume lots of sugary sodas and sports drinks every day may be more likely to die early of causes like heart disease and cancer than people who rarely if ever indulge in these beverages, a US study suggests.
Even so, the results add to the mounting evidence that sugary beverages like sodas and sports drinks are harmful, said Nicola McKeown, a researcher at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University who wasn't involved in the study. They found that replacing SSBs with ASBs was linked with a moderately lower risk of early death.