Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Healthy eating and fractures.

Healthy Aging: Eating More Vegetables Helps to Prevent Fractures 

Increased vegetable intake, specifically cruciferous and allium vegetables were associated with a lower rate of hospitalization for fractures in women over 70.[1] Fractures in older populations can have detrimental impacts on the quality of life and may lead to depression and disability.[2] Treatment for, including hospitalizations fractures are also expensive to treat, exceeding $19 billion per year in the U.S.[2,3] It is estimated by the National Osteoporosis Foundation that after the age of 50, 4 in 10 women will experience a bone fracture and may take three years to fully recover.[2,3]
The relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and the rate of fracture that lead to hospitalization in older women has not been fully studied. A recent study by Lauren C. Blekkenhorst, et al., published in Nutrients in 2017 examined the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and fracture rates in older women. The study included over 1400 women age 70 or greater and collected data over 14.5 years.
Results from this study determined that a diet higher in vegetables, but not fruits, reduced the rate of fracture. Furthermore, the researchers noted, the type of vegetable also affected fracture rate. Increased intake of cruciferous vegetables (brussel sprouts, broccoli, arugula, etc.) and allium vegetables (garlic, onion, leek, etc.) were inversely associated with fractures (HR 0.72 and 0.66 respectively).
Supporting bone health in postmenopausal women through diet, exercise, and healthy lifestyle choices are an important first line of defense to increase quality of life and reduce health care costs.
Why is this Clinically Relevant?
  • A diet high in vegetables may reduce the risk for fractures in women over 70
  • Cruciferous and allium vegetables had the most significant impact on reducing fracture risk
  • Fruit consumption was not shown to reduce the risk of fractures
[1] Blekkenhorst L, Hodgson J, Lewis J, et al. Vegetable and Fruit Intake and Fracture-Related Hospitalisations: A Prospective Study of Older Women. Nutrients. 2017
[2]Col√≥n-Emeric CS, Saag KG. Osteoporotic fractures in older adults. Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology. 2006
[3] What is Osteoporosis and What Causes It? National Osteoporosis Foundation. https://www.nof.org/patients/what-is-osteoporosis/. Accessed June 23, 2017.
 2017 May 18;9(5). pii: E511. doi: 10.3390/nu9050511.

Vegetable and Fruit Intake and Fracture-Related Hospitalisations: A Prospective Study of Older Women.


The importance of vegetable and fruit intakes for the prevention of fracture in older women is not well understood. Few studies have explored vegetable and fruit intakes separately, or the associations of specific types of vegetables and fruits with fracture hospitalisations. The objective of this study was to examine the associations of vegetable and fruit intakes, separately, and specific types of vegetables and fruits with fracture-related hospitalisations in a prospective cohort of women aged ≥70 years. Vegetable and fruit intakes were assessed at baseline (1998) in 1468 women using a food frequency questionnaire. The incidence of fracture-related hospitalisations over 14.5 years of follow-up was determined using the Hospital Morbidity Data Collection, linked via the Western Australian Data Linkage System. Fractures were identified in 415 (28.3%) women, of which 158 (10.8%) were hip fractures. Higher intakes of vegetables, but not fruits, were associated with lower fracture incidence. In multivariable-adjusted models for vegetable types, cruciferous and allium vegetables were inversely associated with all fractures, with a hazard ratio (HR) (95% confidence interval) of 0.72 (0.54, 0.95) and 0.66 (0.49, 0.88), respectively, for the highest vs. lowest quartiles. Increasing vegetable intake, with an emphasis on cruciferous and allium vegetables, may prevent fractures in older postmenopausal women.


allium; bone; cruciferous; fracture; fruit; postmenopausal women; vegetables

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