Dietary patterns and incident low-trauma fractures in postmenopausal women and men aged ≥ 50 y: a population-based cohort study

Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Jan;93(1):192-9. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.110.002956. Epub 2010 Nov 10.


Background: Previous research has shown that dietary patterns are related to the risk of several adverse health outcomes, but the relation of these patterns to skeletal fragility is not well understood.

Objective: Our objective was to determine the relation between dietary patterns and incident fracture and possible mediation of this relation by body mass index, bone mineral density, or falls.

Design: We performed a retrospective cohort study based on the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study-a randomly selected population-based cohort. We assessed dietary patterns by using self-administered food-frequency questionnaires in year 2 of the study (1997-1999). Our primary outcome was low-trauma fracture occurring before the 10th annual follow-up (2005-2007).

Results: We identified 2 dietary patterns by using factor analysis. The first factor (nutrient dense) was strongly associated with intake of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. The second factor (energy dense) was strongly associated with intake of soft drinks, potato chips, French fries, meats, and desserts. The nutrient-dense factor was associated with a reduced risk of fracture per 1 SD in men overall [hazard ratio (HR): 0.83; 95% CI: 0.64, 1.08] and in women overall (HR: 0.86; 95% CI: 0.76, 0.98). An age trend (P = 0.03) was observed, which yielded an HR of 0.97 in younger women (age < 70 y) compared with an HR of 0.82 in older women (age ≥ 70 y). The associations were independent of body mass index, bone mineral density, falls, and demographic variables. The energy-dense pattern was not related to fracture.

Conclusion: A diet high in vegetables, fruit, and whole grains may reduce the risk of low-trauma fracture, particularly in older women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Bone Density
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology*
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporotic Fractures / epidemiology
  • Postmenopause
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires