HealthDay News – Analysis of observational data derived from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) revealed that adherence to a Mediterranean diet was associated with reduced risk of hip fracture in postmenopausal women, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Bernhard Haring, MD, MPH, from the University of Würzburg in Germany, and colleagues conducted a post-hoc analysis of longitudinal data from 90,014 postmenopausal women included in the WHI study. 

Nutrient and food intake at baseline was derived from the WHI food frequency questionnaire. Diet quality and adherence were assessed based on scores on the alternate Mediterranean Diet (aMED) index; the Healthy Eating Index 2010 (HEI-2010); the Alternate Healthy Eating Index 2010 (AHEI-2010); or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) score.


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The researchers identified 2,121 cases of hip fracture and 28,718 cases of all-cause total fractures during a median follow-up of 15.9 years. The risk of hip fracture was lower for women scoring in the highest quintile of the aMED (hazard ratio, 0.80) with an absolute risk reduction of 0.29% and a number needed to treat of 342. 

There was no correlation between aMED score and total fractures. HEI-2010 and DASH scores were inversely linked to the risk of hip fracture, but the results were not statistically significant. There was no correlation for AHEI-2010 with hip or total fractures.

Summary and Clinical Applicability

A Mediterranean diet was associated with a lower risk of hip fracture in postmenopausal women.

“These results support that a healthy dietary pattern may play a role in maintaining bone health in postmenopausal women,” the authors concluded.

Reference

Willett WC. Mediterranean Diet and Fracture Risk. JAMA Intern Med. Published online ahead of print March 28, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.0494