Previous studies have reported an inconsistent relationship between alcohol consumption and bone health. A growing body of research has shown that chronic alcoholism leads to osteopenia and increased incidence of skeletal fractures, but some studies have concluded that alcohol consumption may be associated with higher bone mineral density in elderly populations. However, most studies showing a significant relationship between alcohol consumption and bone status have been in Western countries; and subjects have usually been postmenopausal women. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the association of alcohol consumption with bone strength in Korean adults. Data were from the Korean Genomic Rural Cohort Study, which is an ongoing population-based study of adults aged 40 to 70 years from 5 regions. A total of 7713 participants (3368 men, 4345 women) were surveyed about their annual consumption of alcohol such as soju, beer, makkolli, wine, and whisky. Bone strength was measured by stiffness index using the calcaneal quantitative ultrasound method. Overall, the annual age-specific decrease rate in the stiffness index of women was 2.7 times higher than that of men (0.463% for women, 0.169% for men).After adjustment for eligible covariates, the association between alcohol consumption and risk of reduced bone strength showed a J-shaped curve for both men and women. Compared with nondrinkers, the relative risk of reduced bone strength was 0.52 (95% confidence interval, 0.33-0.83) in men who drank 4 to 5 cups of soju for an amount of 29.626 to 49.375 g of alcohol per day and 0.61 (95% confidence interval, 0.38-0.86) in men who drank 6 to 7 cups of soju for an amount of 49.376 to 69.125 g of alcohol per day. We found no significant relationship between alcohol consumption and bone strength in any other group of men. For women, results suggested that the risk of reduced bone strength was lower in the moderate-consumption group; but no significant relationship was found between alcohol consumption at any level and bone strength. Among Korean adults, alcohol consumption has a J-shaped relationship with risk of reduced bone strength.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by a grant of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2005-347-2400-2440-215, 2006-347-2400-2440-215).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism