Page last updated: Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Alcohol use, bone density, and hip fractures in older adults
Moderate drinking has been consistently linked with higher bone mineral density but not hip fracture risk. Researchers in this study analyzed the impact of alcohol consumption on hip fracture risk using data from a study of 5865 adults aged 65 and older from 4 US communities.

All participants had reported their alcohol use yearly and had their hospital records examined for hip fracture diagnoses. A subgroup of 1567 in 2 communities underwent a single scan to assess bone mineral density (BMD).

During about 12 years of follow-up, 412 hip fractures occurred. and the authors, after adjusting for potential confounders (e.g., age, sex, weight) found that light-to-moderate drinkers ( both men and women) had a lower risk of hip fracture than abstainers while heavy drinkers had a higher risk (e.g., hazard ratio [HR], 0.9 for 1–6 drinks per week, 1.3 for ™14 drinks per week; P for trend=0.02). Among participants who underwent scans, BMD of both the total hip and femoral neck increased with consumption, suggesting that hip fracture risk in heavy drinkers is probably associated with more falls, and issue not studied in this research.

Source: Mukamal KJ, Robbins JA, Cauley JA, et al. Alcohol consumption, bone density, and hip fracture among older adults: the Cardiovascular Health Study. Osteoporos Int. 2007;18(5):593–602.

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