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Protective association of milk intake on the risk of hip fracture: results from the Framingham Original Cohort

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Posted November 12, 2014
This news or article is intended for readers with certain scientific or professional knowledge in the field.

Dairy foods are rich in bone-beneficial nutrients, yet the role of dairy foods in hip fracture prevention remains controversial. Our objective was to evaluate the association of milk, yogurt, cheese, cream, and milk  + yogurt intakes with incident hip fracture in the Framingham Original Cohort.

A total of 830 men and women from the Framingham Original Cohort, a prospective cohort study, completed a food-frequency questionnaire (1988 to 1989) and were followed for hip fracture until 2008. In this population-based study, Cox-proportional hazards regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) by categories of energy-adjusted dairy intake (servings/wk), adjusting for standard confounders and covariates. The exposure was energy-adjusted intakes of milk, yogurt, cheese, cream, and milk  + yogurt (servings/wk).

Risk of hip fracture over the follow-up was the primary outcome; the hypothesis being tested was formulated after data collection. The mean age at baseline was 77 years (SD 4.9, range 68 to 96). Ninety-seven hip fractures occurred over the mean follow-up time of 11.6 years (range 0.04 to 21.9 years). The mean ± SD (servings/wk) of dairy intakes at baseline were: milk  = 6.0 ± 6.4; yogurt = 0.4 ± 1.3; cheese = 2.6 ± 3.1; and cream = 3.4 ± 5.5.

Participants with medium (>1 and <7 servings/wk) or higher (≥7 servings/wk) milk intake tended to have lower hip fracture risk than those with low (≤1 serving/wk) intake (high versus low intake HR 0.58, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.31-1.06, p = 0.078; medium versus low intake HR 0.61, 95% CI 0.36-1.08, p = 0.071; p trend = 0.178]. There appeared to be a threshold for milk, with 40% lower risk of hip fracture among those with medium/high milk intake compared with those with low intake (p = 0.061). A similar threshold was observed for milk  + yogurt intake (p = 0.104).

These associations were further attenuated after adjustment for femoral neck bone mineral density. No significant associations were seen for other dairy foods (p range = 0.117 to 0.746). These results suggest that greater intakes of milk and milk  + yogurt may lower risk for hip fracture in older adults through mechanisms that are partially, but not entirely, attributable to effects on bone mineral density.

Source: J Bone Miner Res. 2014 Aug;29(8):1756-62. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.2219.

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