A new study indicates sugary drinks are linked with an increased risk of death.

SALT LAKE CITY — It might be time to kick that soda habit.

What happened: In a study published by the American Heart Association journal Circulation Monday, people who regularly consume sugary drinks have an increased risk of death, according to CNN.

  • The study looked at data from larger health studies, including physical activity and body mass indexes to determine the effect of sugary drinks on mortality rates.
  • It found that adults who consume more than two sweetened beverages a day had their risk of death increase by 21 percent over adults who drank less than one sweetened drink a month.
  • For women, the risk of death jumped by 25 percent, while men had a 12 percent increase in risk.
  • The study also found that sweetened drink consumption was associated with a 31 percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease for women and men.

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.

Vasanti Malik, research scientist in the department of nutrition in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and lead author of the study, told USA Today. "It could simply be the physiological or metabolic differences between men and women … It could also be something methodological, where women tend to underreport energy intake a little bit more than men."

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Diet sodas: Back in February, it was reported that drinking two or more artificially sweetened diet drinks per day could increase your risk of strokes and heart attacks. The risk is 16 percent higher for those who drink diet sodas than those who do not.

What to drink instead: Rather than drinking sugary or artificially sweetened drinks, researchers recommend drinking more water, as it is the best and healthiest choice.

  • "Drinking water in place of sugary drinks is a healthy choice that could contribute to longevity,” said Malik. "Diet soda may be used to help frequent consumers of sugary drinks cut back their consumption, but water is the best and healthiest choice."