Vegetarian women are at a higher risk of hip fracture
A study of over 26,000 middle-aged UK women reveals those with a vegetarian diet had a 33% higher risk of hip fracture compared to regular meat-eaters.
University of Leeds research, published today (Thursday, August 11) in the journal BMC Medicine, investigated the risk of hip fracture in occasional meat-eaters; pescatarians, people who eat fish but not meat; and vegetarians compared to regular meat-eaters.
Among 26,318 women, 822 hip fracture cases were observed over roughly 20 years — that represented just over 3% of the sample population. After adjustment for factors such as smoking and age, vegetarians were the only diet group with an elevated risk of hip fracture.
This study is one of very few studies to compare risk of hip fracture in vegetarians and meat-eaters where the occurrence of hip fracture was confirmed from hospital records.
The scientists stress the need for more research into the exact causes of why vegetarians were at a greater risk of hip fracture.
Vegetarian diets can be ‘healthy or unhealthy’
Study lead author James Webster, a doctoral researcher from the School of Food Science and Nutrition at Leeds, said: “Our study highlights potential concerns regarding risk of hip fracture in women who have a vegetarian diet. However, it is not warning people to abandon vegetarian diets. As with any diet, it is important to understand personal circumstances and what nutrients are needed for a balanced healthy lifestyle.
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