A Mediterranean diet is positively associated with bone and muscle health in a non-Mediterranean region in 25,450 men and women from EPIC-Norfolk

Amy Jennings, Angela A. Mulligan, Kay-Tee Khaw, Robert N. Luben, Ailsa A. Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


Research on Mediterranean diet (MD) adherence and musculoskeletal health is limited. The current study determined if adherence to the alternative MD score (aMED) and MD score (MDS), quantified from 7-d food diaries, was associated with fracture incidence, bone density (calcaneal broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA)) and fat free mass (expressed over BMI (FFMBMI) using bioelectrical impedance) in 25,450 men and women recruited to the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer study in Norfolk, UK. During 17.4 years of follow up (443,178 total person years) 2195 incident fractures occurred. Higher aMED adherence was associated with 23% reduced total (Q5–Q1 HR 0.77; 95% CI 0.67, 0.88; p-trend < 0.01) and 21% reduced hip (Q5–Q1 HR 0.79; 95% CI 0.65, 0.96; p-trend = 0.01) fracture incidence, and significantly higher BUA (Q5–Q1 1.0 dB/MHz 95% CI 0.2, 1.9; p-trend < 0.01) and FFMBMI (Q5–Q1 0.05 kg/(kg/m2) 95% CI 0.04, 0.06; p-trend < 0.01), comparing extreme adherence quintiles. Higher MDS was also associated with reduced total fractures (Q5–Q1 HR 0.83; 95% CI 0.71, 0.96; p-trend = 0.03) and significantly higher BUA (Q5–Q1 1.4 dB/MHz 95% CI 0.5, 2.3; p-trend < 0.01) and FFMBMI (Q5–Q1 0.03 kg/(kg/m2) 95% CI 0.01, 0.04; p-trend < 0.01). This evidence supports the need to develop interventions to enhance MD adherence, particularly in women, where evidence for associations was stronger
Original languageEnglish
Article number1154
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2020

Cite this