Effect of alcohol intake on bone mineral density in elderly women: The EPIDOS Study. Epidémiologie de l'Ostéoporose

Am J Epidemiol. 2000 Apr 15;151(8):773-80. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a010277.


To study potential associations between alcohol consumption and bone mineral density in women aged 75 years or older, the authors analyzed 7,598 ambulatory women (mean age, 79.9 years; standard deviation, 3.8 years) recruited at five centers in France between 1992 and 1994. The current alcohol intake was assessed using a self-questionnaire. Bone mineral density was measured by dual-photon X-ray absorptiometry of the proximal femur and total body and adjusted for age, weight, and height (Z score). Compared with nonusers, women who drank 11-29 g of alcohol per day (g/day) had higher bone mineral density values at the trochanteric site (p = 0.0017). Neither 1-10 g/day nor >30 g/day users had increased bone mineral density levels. These results were unrelated to estrogen replacement therapy use, dietary calcium intake, current smoking status, usual physical activity, educational attainment, household monthly income, and general health status. Alcohol intake was not associated with bone mineral density at the femoral neck. Total body bone mineral density was lower in subjects with alcohol intakes >30 g/day (p = 0.047). Our data suggest that moderate drinking (e.g., 1-3 glasses of wine per day) is associated with an increase in trochanteric bone mineral density in elderly ambulatory women. However, higher intakes may have detrimental effects on bone mass.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Bone Density*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / etiology*