Risk of Hip Fractures Reduced by Light to Moderate Drinking

The risk of hip fractures is reduced by light to moderate drinking. The alcohol can be beer, wine, or spirits. Spirits are whiskey, gin, rum, rye, vodka, etc. Reducing risk is important. Hip fractures, especially among the elderly, are a common cause of disability and increase the risk of premature death.

The major risk of hip fractures comes from osteoporosis and unstable gait. For several decades, moderate drinking has been found  associated with increased bone mineral density. Much research has also found that light and moderate drinking are associated with lower risk of hip fractures. But the risk is increased among heavy drinkers, especially alcoholics.

risk of hip fracturesMajor Study on Risk of Hip Fractures

This study analyzed data from 18 studies. Included were 3,730,424 participants. The studies included subjects from the USA, Canada, ‘Europe,’ Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Australia, and Japan.

During the time they were followed, 26,168 hip fractures occurred. The researchers found a J-shaped association between drinking level and the risk of hip fractures. Lower risk occurred among those who had about one drink per day. There was no effect from drinking between one and four to five drinks, per day. Consuming over four to five drinks daily was associated with increased risk of hip fractures.


  • Zhang X, Yu Z, Yu M, Qu X. Alcohol consumption and hip fracture risk. Osteoporos In., 2015, 26, 531’“542.

Readings on Risk of Hip Fractures

  • Berg KM, et al. Association between alcohol consumption and both osteoporotic fracture and bone density. Am J Med. 2008;:406-48. doi: 0.06/ j.amjmed.007..0.
  • Felson DT, et al. Alcohol intake and bone mineral density in elderly men and women. Am J Epid. 1995;4:485’“49.
  • Ganry O, et al. Effect of alcohol intake on bone mineral density in elderly women. Am J Epid. 2000;5:77-780.
  • Holbrook TL, Barrett-Connor E. A prospective study of alcohol and bone mineral density. BMJ 1999;06:506-509.
  • McLernon DJ, et al. Do lifestyle choices explain the effect of alcohol on bone mineral density in women around menopause? Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;95:6-69.
  • Mukamal KJ, et al. Alcohol consumption, bone density, and hip fracture among older adults. Osteoporos Int. 2007;8:59-60.