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BMJ Open. 2019 Nov 21;9(11):e031594. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-031594.

Association between dairy intake and fracture in an Australian-based cohort of women: a prospective study.

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School of Medicine, IMPACT SRC, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
School of Medicine, IMPACT SRC, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia.
Faculty of Health,Biostatistics Unit, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia.
Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Black Dog Institute, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Department of Medicine, Western Campus, The University of Melbourne, St Albans, New South Wales, Australia.
Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
University Hospital Geelong, Barwon Health, Geelong, Victoria, Australia.



Given the inconsistent evidence on dairy consumption and risk of fracture, we assessed the association between milk/total dairy consumption and major osteoporotic fracture (MOF) in women from the Geelong Osteoporosis Study (GOS).


Women aged ≥50 years (n=833) were followed from baseline (1993-1997) to date of first fracture, death or 31 December 2017, whichever occurred first. Dairy consumption was assessed by self-report at baseline and the follow-up phases. MOFs (hip, forearm, clinical spine and proximal humerus) were confirmed radiologically. Multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazard models were used to determine associations between milk/total dairy (milk, cheese, yoghurt, ice cream) consumption and MOFs. Cross-sectional associations between milk/total dairy consumption and serum high-sensitivity C reactive protein (hsCRP), C-terminal telopeptide (CTx) and procollagen type 1 N-terminal propeptide (P1NP) at baseline were investigated using multivariable linear regression.


During follow-up (11 507 person-years), 206 women had an MOF. Consuming >500 mL/d of milk was not significantly associated with increased HR for MOF. Non-milk (1.56; 95% CI 0.99 to 2.46) drinkers and consumption of ≥800 g/d total dairy (1.70; 95% CI 0.99 to 2.93) had marginally higher HR for MOF compared with consuming <250 mL/d of milk and 200-399 g/d of total dairy, respectively. Milk consumption was inversely associated with serum hsCRP and CTx, but total dairy consumption was not associated with these serum markers.


Higher milk consumption did not increase the risk for MOF in older women. However, a trend for increased MOF was detected in zero milk and higher total dairy consuming women.


dairy; fractures; inflammation; milk; osteoporosis

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: HA is supported by Deakin University Postgraduate Industry Research Scholarship, KH is supported by an Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellowship and FNJ is supported by an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (2) (1108125). The Food & Mood Centre at the IMPACT SRC has received funding from the A2 Milk Company for an investigator-initiated randomised controlled trial (2018–2020).

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