Archives of Osteoporosis

, 13:46 | Cite as

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

  • Yoosun Cho
  • Seulggie Choi
  • Kyuwoong Kim
  • Gyeongsil Lee
  • Sang Min ParkEmail author
Original Article



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.


Alcohol Bone Korea Men Women 



We would like to express our gratitude towards the Ministry of Health and Welfare for providing KNHANES data and the participants of the national surveys in the Republic of Korea.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest


Supplementary material

11657_2018_462_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (372 kb)
ESM 1 (PPTX 371 kb)


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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoosun Cho
    • 1
  • Seulggie Choi
    • 2
  • Kyuwoong Kim
    • 2
  • Gyeongsil Lee
    • 1
  • Sang Min Park
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Family MedicineSeoul National University Hospital, Seoul National University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical SciencesSeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea

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