Dietary Inflammatory Index, Bone Mineral Density, and Risk of Fracture in Postmenopausal Women: Results From the Women's Health Initiative

Tonya Orchard, Vedat Yildiz, Susan E. Steck, James R. Hébert, Yunsheng Ma, Jane A. Cauley, Wenjun Li, Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani, Karen C. Johnson, Maryam Sattari, Meryl LeBoff, Jean Wactawski-Wende, Rebecca D. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Previous studies suggest that bone loss and fracture risk are associated with higher inflammatory milieu, potentially modifiable by diet. The primary objective of this analysis was to evaluate the association of the dietary inflammatory index (DII), a measure of the inflammatory potential of diet, with risk of hip, lower-arm, and total fracture using longitudinal data from the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study and Clinical Trials. Secondarily, we evaluated changes in bone mineral density (BMD) and DII scores. DII scores were calculated from baseline food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) completed by 160,191 participants (mean age 63 years) without history of hip fracture at enrollment. Year 3 FFQs were used to calculate a DII change score. Fractures were reported at least annually; hip fractures were confirmed by medical records. Hazard ratios for fractures were computed using multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazard models, further stratified by age and race/ethnicity. Pairwise comparisons of changes in hip BMD, measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry from baseline, year 3, and year 6 were analyzed by quartile (Q1 = least inflammatory diet) of baseline DII scores in a subgroup of women (n = 10,290). Mean DII score improved significantly over 3 years (p < 0.01), but change was not associated with fracture risk. Baseline DII score was only associated with hip fracture risk in younger white women (HR Q4,1.48; 95% CI, 1.09 to 2.01; p = 0.01). There were no significant associations among white women older than 63 years or other races/ethnicities. Women with the least inflammatory DII scores had less loss of hip BMD (p = 0.01) by year 6, despite lower baseline hip BMD, versus women with the most inflammatory DII scores. In conclusion, a less inflammatory dietary pattern was associated with less BMD loss in postmenopausal women. A more inflammatory diet was associated with increased hip fracture risk only in white women younger than 63 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1136-1146
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2017



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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