Page last updated: August 15, 2017
Alcohol consumption and bone mineral density in elderly women

The association between alcohol intake and bone mineral density (BMD) in postmenopausal women was evaluated using data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. BMD is a relevant factor for osteoporosis.

3,312 subjects (males and premenopausal women) were included in the study. The frequency and amount of alcohol intake were determined by selfreported questionnaires, and BMD was measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry.

Mean femoral BMD for light drinkers was statistically significantly greater than that for heavy drinkers and non-drinkers. The researchers observed the characteristic trends for BMD by drinking frequency; the mean BMD gradually increased from nondrinkers to the participants who drank 2-3 times per week; these participants exhibited the highest BMD. Participants who drank alcohol greater than 4 times per week showed a lower BMD. In the risk factor analysis, the adjusted odds ratio for osteoporosis (at femoral neck) was 1.68 in non-drinkers and 1.70 in heavy drinkers compared with light drinkers.

Light alcohol intake (2-3 times per week and 1-2 or 5-6 glasses per occasion) in South Korean postmenopausal women was related to high femoral BMD. Non-drinkers and heavy drinkers had approximately a 1.7-times greater risk for osteoporosis than light to moderate drinkers.

Source: Relationship between bone mineral density and alcohol intake: A nationwide health survey analysis of postmenopausal women. Jang HD, Hong JY, Han K, Lee JC, et al. PLoS One. 2017 Jun 29;12(6):e0180132. doi: 10.1371/ journal.pone.0180132. eCollection 2017.

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