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Diet and hip fractures among elderly Europeans in the EPIC cohort

Abstract

Background/Objectives:

Evidence on the role of diet during adulthood and beyond on fracture occurrence is limited. We investigated diet and hip fracture incidence in a population of elderly Europeans, participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and nutrition study.

Subjects/Methods:

29 122 volunteers (10 538 men, 18 584 women) aged 60 years and above (mean age: 64.3) from five countries were followed up for a median of 8 years and 275 incident hip fractures (222 women and 53 men) were recorded. Diet was assessed at baseline through validated dietary questionnaires. Data were analyzed through Cox proportional-hazards regression with adjustment for potential confounders.

Results:

No food group or nutrient was significantly associated with hip fracture occurrence. There were suggestive inverse associations, however, with vegetable consumption (hazard ratio (HR) per increasing sex-specific quintile: 0.93, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.85–1.01), fish consumption (HR per increasing sex-specific quintile: 0.93, 95% CI: 0.85–1.02) and polyunsaturated lipid intake (HR per increasing sex-specific quintile: 0.92, 95% CI: 0.82–1.02), whereas saturated lipid intake was positively associated with hip fracture risk (HR per increasing sex-specific quintile: 1.13, 95% CI: 0.99–1.29). Consumption of dairy products did not appear to influence the risk (HR per increasing sex-specific quintile: 1.02, 95% CI: 0.93–1.12).

Conclusions:

In a prospective study of the elderly, diet, including consumption of dairy products, alcohol and vitamin D, did not appear to play a major role in hip fracture incidence. There is however, weak and statistically non-significant evidence that vegetable and fish consumption and intake of polyunsaturated lipids may have a beneficial, whereas saturated lipid intake a detrimental effect.

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Acknowledgements

EPIC Elderly Network on Aging and Health has received funding from the Community (Directorate-General SANCO: Directorate C-Public Health and Risk Assessment, Grant agreement number: 2004126). Sole responsibility lies with the authors and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein. The EPIC study was funded by ‘Europe Against Cancer’ Program of the European Commission (SANCO); German Cancer Aid; German Cancer Research Center; German Federal Ministry of Education and Research; Greek Ministry of Health; Stavros Niarchos Foundation; Hellenic Health Foundation; Italian Association for Research on Cancer; Italian National Research Council; Dutch Prevention Funds; LK Research Funds; Dutch ZON (Zorg Onderzoek, Nederland); World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF); Swedish Cancer Society; Swedish Scientific Council; Regional Government of Skane, Sweden.

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Benetou, V., Orfanos, P., Zylis, D. et al. Diet and hip fractures among elderly Europeans in the EPIC cohort. Eur J Clin Nutr 65, 132–139 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2010.226

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2010.226

Keywords

  • hip fractures
  • diet
  • nutrients
  • risk factors
  • elderly

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