Calcium intake and the risk of osteoporosis and fractures in French women

Joint Bone Spine. 2010 Mar;77(2):154-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jbspin.2009.08.007. Epub 2010 Feb 24.


Objectives: To evaluate dietary calcium intake in postmenopausal women over 45 years of age and compare intake according to osteoporosis diagnosis and fracture history.

Methods: A cross-sectional epidemiological survey of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women over 45 years in the general population was conducted using a stratified random sampling method and face-to-face interviews. Information was collected on osteoporosis diagnosis, fracture history and risk factors. Information on dietary calcium intake was collected using a validated questionnaire.

Results: Two thousand six hundred and thirty-one women (mean age: 67.9+/-10.0 years) were included. Two hundred and fifty-four (9.7%) had received a diagnosis of osteoporosis by bone densitometry, of whom 154 (45.3%) reported at least one previous fracture. Total mean daily dietary calcium intake was 754 mg/day, of which dairy products (milk, cheese and others) were the principal source. Overall, 37.2% of the sample consumed<600 mg/day and 20.1% >1000 mg/d. The proportion of women consuming <600 mg/day increased with age (p=0.0028). No difference in mean daily calcium intake was observed between women with or without a diagnosis of osteoporosis or with or without fractures.

Conclusions: Mean dietary calcium intake in this population is well below that recommended in current national guidelines (> or =1500 mg/day), notably in those most at risk for fractures, such as women with a diagnosis of osteoporosis or those in older age groups. Intake does not appear to be influenced by osteoporosis diagnosis or fracture experience.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dairy Products
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / diet therapy*
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology*
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mineral Waters / administration & dosage
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Osteoporosis / diet therapy*
  • Osteoporosis / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Mineral Waters