Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Dec;92(6):1452-60. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2010.29955. Epub 2010 Oct 27.

Fatty acid consumption and risk of fracture in the Women's Health Initiative.

Author information

Department of Human Nutrition, College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.



Fatty acids (FAs) may be important dietary components that modulate osteoporotic fracture risk.


The objective was to examine FA intake in relation to osteoporotic fractures.


The participants were postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative (n = 137,486). Total fractures were identified by self-report; hip fractures were confirmed by medical record review. FA intake was estimated from baseline food-frequency questionnaires and standardized to total caloric intake. No data on omega-3 (n-3) FA supplements were available. Cox proportional hazard models were constructed to estimate risk of fracture.


Higher saturated FA consumption was associated with higher hip fracture risk [quartile 4 multivariate-adjusted hazard ratio (HR): 1.31; 95% CI: 1.11, 1.55; P for trend = 0.001]. Lower total fracture risk was associated with a higher monounsaturated FA intake (quartile 3 HR: 0.94; 95% CI: 0.89, 0.98; P for trend = 0.050) and polyunsaturated FA intake (quartile 4 HR: 0.95; 95% CI: 0.90, 0.99; P for trend = 0.019). Unexpectedly, higher consumption of marine n-3 FAs was associated with greater total fracture risk (quartile 4 HR: 1.07; 95% CI: 1.02, 1.12; P for trend = 0.010), whereas a higher n-6 FA intake was associated with a lower total fracture risk (quartile 4 HR: 0.94; 95% CI: 0.89, 0.98; P for trend 0.009).


These results suggest that saturated FA intake may significantly increase hip fracture risk, whereas monounsaturated and polyunsaturated FA intakes may decrease total fracture risk. In postmenopausal women with a low intake of marine n-3 FAs, a higher intake of n-6 FAs may modestly decrease total fracture risk. This trial was registered at as NCT00000611.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center