Hip Arthroplasty Risk in Men Higher With Increased Dairy Product Consumption

x-ray of right hip, front view, showing total hip replacement to treat osteoarthritis
x-ray of right hip, front view, showing total hip replacement to treat osteoarthritis
Hip osteoarthritis risk may be increased by a higher rate of dairy product consumption.

Consuming more dairy products may raise the risk for total hip arthroplasty for osteoarthritis (OA) in men, according to a study published in the Journal of Rheumatology.

Increased consumption of dairy products, which are high in calcium, is associated with increased bone mineral density (BMD). Although dairy product consumption is beneficial for bone health, higher BMD may be linked to a greater risk for hip OA because of lower bone resorption and turnover, which changes the shape of hip bones. Data on the effect of dairy product consumption on the risk for hip OA were lacking until recently.

Researchers led by Sultana M. Hussain, PhD, and Yuanyuan Wang, PhD, from Monash University in Australia, examined the relationship between dairy product consumption and the risk for total hip arthroplasty for OA, a surrogate marker for severe hip OA. Men and women were evaluated separately because BMD, bone shape, and incidence and severity of OA differ between the sexes.

Of 15,654 men and 23,270 women in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study, 524 men and 981 women underwent total hip arthroplasty for OA. Baseline dietary data were collected via questionnaires within the first 12 months of enrollment into the study.

Compared with participants without hip arthroplasty, those who were treated with hip arthroplasty were more likely to be nonsmokers, older, Australia- or United Kingdom-born, and less physically active, and have higher body mass index.

Among men, the risk for total hip arthroplasty was increased by 21% for every standard deviation (SD) of dairy products consumed (hazard ratio, 1.21 per 1 SD; 95% confidence interval, 1.10-1.33). The relationship between greater dairy product intake and increased risk for hip arthroplasty was maintained even after adjusting for potential confounding factors, including age, physical activity, calcium supplement intake, and 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels.

Researchers also found that as consumption of dietary calcium increased, so did the risk for hip arthroplasty, although this trend did not reach statistical significance (HR, 1.12; P =.12).

No link between dairy product intake and rates of hip arthroplasty was identified in women.

Related Articles

Summary and Applicability

Dairy product consumption improves bone health by increasing BMD, which may lead to changes in hip bone geometry and may subsequently raise the risk for hip OA. Researchers evaluated the link between levels of dairy product consumption and the risk for total hip arthroplasty for OA, which served as a marker for severe hip OA.

“Our study is the first study showing a positive association between dairy product consumption and risk of hip arthroplasty due to [OA],” Dr Wang said in an interview with Rheumatology Advisor. “More studies are needed to confirm our findings. Clinicians should not restrict their patients from consumption of dairy products solely based on our study.”

“We did not examine each kind of dairy product separately. It is unknown whether some particular type of dairy product or certain components of dairy product would be associated with the risk of hip arthroplasty for [OA],” she added.

Limitations and Disclosures

  • Total hip arthroplasty is an imperfect marker for severe hip OA, as factors such as patient preference and socioeconomic status may influence the decision to undergo arthroplasty.
  • This study collected data on dairy consumption at baseline, which may not reflect long-term dairy consumption.

Dr Wang reports no relevant disclosures.


Hussain SM, Cicuttini FM, Giles GG, Graves SE, Wluka AE, Wang Y. Association between dairy product consumption and incidence of total hip arthroplasty for osteoarthritis [published online March 15, 2017]. J Rheumatol. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.161395