Legumes and meat analogues consumption are associated with hip fracture risk independently of meat intake among Caucasian men and women: the Adventist Health Study-2

Public Health Nutr. 2014 Oct;17(10):2333-43. doi: 10.1017/S1368980013002693. Epub 2013 Oct 8.


Objective: In contrast to non-vegetarians, vegetarians consume more legumes and meat analogues as sources of protein to substitute for meat intake. The present study aimed to assess the association between foods with high protein content (legumes, meat, meat analogues) by dietary pattern (vegetarians, non-vegetarians) and hip fracture incidence, adjusted for selected lifestyle factors.

Design: A prospective cohort of Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2) enrollees who completed a comprehensive lifestyle and dietary questionnaire between 2002 and 2007.

Setting: Every two years after enrolment, a short questionnaire on hospitalizations and selected disease outcomes including hip fractures was sent to these members.

Subjects: Respondents (n 33,208) to a baseline and a follow-up questionnaire.

Results: In a multivariable model, legumes intake of once daily or more reduced the risk of hip fracture by 64% (hazard ratio = 0·36, 95% CI 0·21, 0·61) compared with those with legumes intake of less than once weekly. Similarly, meat intake of four or more times weekly was associated with a 40% reduced risk of hip fracture (hazard ratio = 0·60, 95% CI 0·41, 0·87) compared with those whose meat intake was less than once weekly. Furthermore, consumption of meat analogues once daily or more was associated with a 49 % reduced risk of hip fracture (hazard ratio = 0·51, 95% CI 0·27, 0·98) compared with an intake of less than once weekly.

Conclusions: Hip fracture incidence was inversely associated with legumes intake and, to a lesser extent, meat intake, after accounting for other food groups and important covariates. Similarly, a high intake of meat analogues was associated with a significantly reduced risk of hip fracture.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • California / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet, Vegetarian*
  • Dietary Proteins / therapeutic use*
  • Fabaceae*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hip Fractures / epidemiology
  • Hip Fractures / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Meat / adverse effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Protestantism
  • Seeds*


  • Dietary Proteins