EPIC working groups

The Osteoporosis/Fractures Project

Osteoporosis and the related fractures, particularly hip fractures, constitute a major and growing public health problem, notably among the elderly. It is thus critical to investigate preventable risk factors for a condition that directly affects not only longevity but also quality of life. Diet has long been invoked as one of the factors that play a key role in the development of osteoporosis, but conclusive evidence is missing.

Examples of the work undertaken in the context of the Osteoporosis/Fractures Project include the generated evidence indicating that high body stature increases and high body mass index (BMI) decreases the incidence of hip fractures, whereas leisure-time physical activity appears to play a beneficial role in the prevention of hip fractures1. With respect to diet, there was no evidence that adult-life diet, including consumption of dairy products and vitamin D, plays a major role in hip fracture incidence2. There was some weak evidence, however, that closer adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern may protect against hip fracture occurrence3.

Selected publications

  1. Benetou V et al. Anthropometry, physical activity and hip fractures in the elderly. Injury. 2011 Feb;42(2):188-93. PMID: 20863492

  2. Benetou V et al. Diet and hip fractures among elderly Europeans in the EPIC cohort. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2011 Jan;65(1):132-9. PMID: 20948558

  3. Benetou V et al. Mediterranean diet and incidence of hip fractures in a European cohort. Osteoporos Int. 2013 May;24(5):1587-98. PMID: 23085859

Contact details/Working Group leader

Antonia Trichopoulou, MD, PhD
Hellenic Health Foundation, 13 Kaisareias Street, Athens, GR-115 27, Greece