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01.12.2018 | Original Article | Ausgabe 1/2018

Archives of Osteoporosis 1/2018

Association between alcohol consumption and bone mineral density in elderly Korean men and women

Archives of Osteoporosis > Ausgabe 1/2018
Yoosun Cho, Seulggie Choi, Kyuwoong Kim, Gyeongsil Lee, Sang Min Park
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s11657-018-0462-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



In this cross-sectional study based on Korean elderly men and women, heavy alcohol intake for men was related to low whole-body BMD and light alcohol intake for women was associated with high whole-body, lumbar, and total femur BMD.


Alcohol is a risk factor of osteoporosis but previous studies on its effect on bone health has been controversial. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between alcohol intake and bone mineral density in Korean elderly men and women.


Based on the Fourth and Fifth Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (KNHANES), 2657 men and 2080 women 50 to 79 years of age were included. Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Alcohol consumption was determined by self-administered questionnaires and classified into four groups according to sex: non-drinkers (0 g/day), light drinking (1–19 g/day men, 1–9 g/day women), moderate drinking (20–39 g/day men, 10–29 g/day women), and heavy drinking (≥ 40 g/day men, ≥ 20 g/day women). The adjusted mean values calculated by linear regression analysis for BMD were determined according to the amount of alcohol consumed.


Light drinkers had the highest whole-body BMD for both men (mean 1.164, SD 0.047–1.281) and women (mean 1.046, SD 0.912–1.180). Among men, mean whole-body BMD for heavy drinkers was significantly lower than that among light drinkers (P = 0.031). Among women, BMD for light drinkers was significantly higher in the whole body, lumbar, and total femur than that for non-drinkers (P < 0.001, P = 0.026, P = 0.040, respectively).


Heavy alcohol intake may be associated with lower BMD in men while light alcohol intake may associate with higher BMD among women. Future longitudinal studies investigating the effect of alcohol consumption on bone mineral density are needed to validate the findings of this study.

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