Page last updated: September 24, 2012
Alcohol consumption and bone mineral density in elderly women

A study by researchers from the Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland explored the association of alcohol intake with bone mineral density (BMD) in elderly women.
This cohort study included 300 elderly women (mean age 67.8 years) from the population-based Kuopio Osteoporosis Risk Factor and Prevention - Fracture Prevention Study (OSTPRE-FPS). Alcohol intake and potential confounders were assessed at baseline and after 3 years of follow-up using a lifestyle questionnaire. In addition, a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was distributed in the third year to measure dietary intake, including alcohol. Women underwent BMD measurements at the femoral neck and lumbar spine at baseline and after 3 years of follow-up.
Alcohol consumption estimated from the FFQ and lifestyle questionnaire was significantly associated with higher BMD at both measurement sites after adjustment for potential confounders, including lifestyle and dietary factors (P < 0·05). Using the FFQ, women drinking >3 alcoholic drinks/week had significantly higher BMD than abstainers, 12·0 % at the femoral neck and 9·2 % at the lumbar spine. Results based on the lifestyle questionnaire showed higher BMD values for all alcohol-consuming women at the femoral neck and for women drinking 1-3 alcoholic beverages/week at the lumbar spine, compared with non-users.
The results from OSTPRE-FPS suggest that low to moderate alcohol intake may exert protective effects on bone health in elderly women.
Source: Alcohol consumption and bone mineral density in elderly women. Sommer I, Erkkilä AT, Järvinen R, Mursu J, Sirola J, Jurvelin JS, Kröger H, Tuppurainen M. Public Health Nutr. 2012 Jul 17:1-9.

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