Many older women in senior living settings prefer soft drinks to other beverages. It’s a choice that may increase their hip fracture risks, however, a new study finds.

Investigators found that women who drank an average of more than 14 12-ounce servings a week were 26% more likely to experience a hip fracture than women who avoided soda. For those who drank as much caffeine-free soda, the number rose to 32%. Findings were based on an analysis of data from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. 

The researchers assessed fracture, bone mineral density and soda consumption in more than 70,000 postmenopausal women. Participants were followed for a mean period of about 12 years. 

“[O]ur results showed no significant risks if the intake was less than 14 servings a week, suggesting a threshold effect rather than a dose-response relationship,” the authors wrote.

The soft drink analysis was published in the journal Menopause.