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Calcium intake in elderly patients with hip fractures

Food & Nutrition Research
Co-Action Publishing
Publication Date
DOI: 10.3402/fnr.v52i0.1654
  • Original Article


Background Dietary calcium intake is assumed important in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. However, people in countries with a high calcium intake from commodities such as milk and milk products have a high incidence of hip fracture. The effect and influence of calcium intake in the prevention of osteoporotic fracture vary from different studies. Objective To investigate premorbid daily calcium intake in patients with low energy hip fractures during four consecutive years. Design In total 120 patients (mean age 78±8.5 (SD) years) were included between 2002 and 2005. The patients answered a structured food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and interviews on patients’ daily calcium intake from food and supplements took place during a 6-month period before the fracture. Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) was performed in a subgroup of 15 patients. Results The mean daily calcium intake from food and supplementation was 970±500 mg. However, 38% of patients had an intake below the recommended 800 mg/day. There was no significant relationship between calcium intake and age, gender, bone mineral density, serum calcium or albumin, type of fracture or body mass index. The mean free plasma calcium concentration was 2.3±0.1, i.e. within the reference limit. In 2005, 80% of the patients who underwent DEXA had manifest osteoporosis. There was a trend towards decreased calcium intake over the observation period, with a mean calcium intake below 800 mg/day in 2005. Conclusions Hip fracture patients had a mean calcium intake above the recommended daily intake, as assessed by a FFQ. However, more than one-third of patients had an intake below the recommended 800 mg/day. The intake appeared to decrease over the investigated years. The relationship between calcium intake and fracture susceptibility is complex.

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