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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2006 Nov;54(11):1649-57.

Alcohol intake and its relationship with bone mineral density, falls, and fracture risk in older men.

Author information

1
Research Institute, California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, California 94107, USA. pcawthon@sfcc-cpmc.net

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To examine the association between alcohol intake and problem drinking history and bone mineral density (BMD), falls and fracture risk.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional and prospective cohort study.

SETTING:

Six U.S. clinical centers.

PARTICIPANTS:

Five thousand nine hundred seventy-four men aged 65 and older.

MEASUREMENTS:

Alcohol intake and problem drinking histories were ascertained at baseline. Follow-up time was 1 year for falls and a mean of 3.65 years for fractures.

RESULTS:

Two thousand one hundred twenty-one participants (35.5%) reported limited alcohol intake (<12 drinks/y); 3,156 (52.8%) reported light intake (<14 drinks/wk), and 697 (11.7%) reported moderate to heavy intake (> or =14 drinks/wk) in the year before baseline. One thousand one men (16.8%) had ever had problem drinking. In multivariate models, as alcohol intake increased, so did hip and spine BMD (P for trend < .001). Greater alcohol intake was not associated with greater risk for nonspine or hip fractures. Men with light intake, but not moderate to heavy intake, had a lower risk of two or more incident falls (light intake: relative risk (RR) = 0.77, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.65-0.92; moderate to heavy intake: RR = 0.83, 95% CI = 0.63-1.10) than abstainers. Men with problem drinking had higher femoral neck (+1.3%) and spine BMD (+1.4%), and a higher risk of two or more falls (RR = 1.59; 95% CI = 1.30-1.94) than those without a history of problem drinking and similar total hip BMD and risk of fracture.

CONCLUSION:

In older men, recent alcohol intake is associated with higher BMD. Alcohol intake and fracture risk is unclear. Light alcohol intake may decrease the risk of falling, but a history of problem drinking increased fall risk.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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