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Am J Clin Nutr. 1988 Sep;48(3 Suppl):842-9.

Dietary factors in bone health of elderly lactoovovegetarian and omnivorous women.

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Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27514.


The relationships between dietary factors and radial bone indices of omnivorous (n = 287) and lactoovovegetarian (n = 88) postmenopausal women were investigated. Bone mineral content (BMC) and bone density (BD) were determined at mid and distal radius sites using a Norland single-beam bone densitometer. A quantitative food frequency questionnaire assessed usual current and long-term intakes. Multiple regression analyses showed that 1) vegetarianism was a positive contributor (p less than 0.05) to Mid BMC, 2) protein was a positive contributor (p less than 0.02) to Mid and Distal BMC, 3) phosphorus was a negative contributor (p less than 0.10) to Mid and Distal BMC and Mid BD, and 4) current calcium was not a significant contributor to any of the bone indices after age, body mass index, energy, protein, P, and vegetarianism were accounted for in the models. Estimations of long-term Ca intake and other nutrients are necessary if relationships between diet and bone are to be identified at any age period using cross-sectional epidemiological methods.

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