A recent study has linked the consumption of sugared beverages – sodas, sports drinks, and other drinks containing sugar – to an increased risk of endometrial cancer in postmenopausal women. The study was conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Minnesota and was published online in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarker & Prevention.

In 1986, 23,039 women with a median age of 62 completed The Harvard Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ), answering detailed questions concerning their lifestyle, diet, and medical history. Sweetened beverage consumption patterns of each individual were categorized into quintiles, ranging from 0 (lowest fifth) to 60.5 (highest fifth). The study group was followed for over two decades to document any incidence of cancer, reported Medical News Today.

According to the study, 506 Type 1 endometrial cancers and 89 Type 2 endometrial cancers were documented in the study group from 1986 through 2010. The researchers determined that women in the highest one-fifth of the group for consumption of sugared beverages were 74 percent more likely to develop endometrial cancer when compared to women in the group who were were in the lowest one-fifth for sugary drink consumption.

The researchers concluded that while all sugars increased the risk for Type 1 endometrial cancer, sugared beverages greatly increased risks of developing it. Because the sugars found in sweetened beverages cause plasma glucose levels in the body to spike then bottom out, it is this behavior, as well as the amount of sugared beverages consumed, that researchers believe may be to blame for the increased risk of endometrial cancer, reported Medical News Today.

Earlier this year, a study conducted by researchers at Imperial College London concluded that just one soda a day can increase a person’s risk for the development of Type-2 diabetes by 18 percent.

“Sweetened beverages are certainly gaining a bad reputation as these studies continue to come forward linking them to serious health risks,” commented Virginia Buchanan, a personal injury lawyer with the Levin, Papantonio law firm.

Estrogen-dependent Type 1 endometrial cancer, also known as uterine cancer, is the most common form of endometrial cancer that is typically diagnosed in women after the age of 55. The National Cancer Institute reports that some 49,560 new cases of endometrial cancer are diagnosed each year, with 8,190 of the cases resulting in fatalities.

Krysta is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow her on Twitter @KrystaLoera.