Poster Topical Area: Aging and Chronic Disease

Location: Auditorium

Poster Board Number: 84

P01-065 - Dietary sugar intakes pose no risk to bone health but are associated with decreased all-cause mortality in Chinese elderly

Sunday, Jun 10
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM


The association of dietary sugar intake and skeletal health remains uncertain, especially among elderly. Our objective was to investigate sugar consumption in Chinese elderly and the temporal association of sugar intake with bone health and mortality.

Analyses were conducted based on an 11-year longitudinal study (Mr and Ms OS Hong Kong). A total 4000 Chinese men and women aged 65 and older were recruited from the local community from 2001 to 2003. The study consisted of a 4-year follow-up (n=3416) on the changes in bone mineral density (BMD) and an 11-year follow-up for the incidence of non-traumatic fracture and all-cause mortality (n=3344). Free and added dietary sugar intakes were assessed at baseline using a 329-item validated Food Frequency Questionnaire. BMD was examined at baseline and 4-year follow-up by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at total hip, spine, femoral neck and whole body. Data on the incidence of non-traumatic fractures and all-cause mortality were collected. General linear model, logistic, and Cox proportional hazards models were used to test the associations of sugar intakes with bone health and all-cause mortality.

The average free sugar intake among the participants was 20.0±19.8 g/d (4.16±3.57% calories) with only 5.4% exceeding the WHO recommendation (<10%). During a median follow-up of 11.1 years (34,483 person years), we documented 433 non-traumatic fractures and 769 deaths. No significantly association was observed between total free and added sugar intakes with BMD changes, as well as the incidence of non-traumatic fracture. However, high sugar intakes were significantly associated with low risk of all-cause mortality in elderly women with hazard ratios of 0.625 (95% CI: 0.428- 0.915, p for trend: 0.033) for free sugar and 0.578 (95% CI: 0.386-0.867, p for trend: 0.004) for added sugar in the highest quintile compared with that in the lowest quintile.

The amount of sugar consumed by Chinese elderly pose no risk to bone loss and fracture. High sugar intakes were even associated with low all-cause mortality in elderly women.

Funding Source:

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health R01 grant AR049439–01A1 and the Research Grants Council Earmarked Grant CUHK4101/02 M. The funders played no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, interpretation of the data, as well as in writing the manuscript.

Zhaomin Liu

School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University
Guangzhou, Guangdong, China (People's Republic)