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Logo of annrheumdAnnals of the Rheumatic DiseasesVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Ann Rheum Dis. 2005 February; 64(2): 309–310.
Published online 2004 July 1. doi:  10.1136/ard.2004.022269
PMCID: PMC1755353

The effect of moderate alcohol consumption on bone mineral density: a study of female twins


Objective: To carry out a twin study to investigate this effect while controlling for genetic effects and other confounding variables.

Methods: BMD was determined at the hip and lumbar spine in 46 pairs of monozygotic twins discordant for alcohol consumption. Biochemical evidence of altered bone metabolism was sought.

Results: A positive association between alcohol consumption and BMD was shown, in contrast to the negative effect of smoking on BMD. Markers of bone turnover were not associated with alcohol or BMD.

Conclusions: Moderate alcohol consumption is not harmful to bone health in women and may even be beneficial. Beneficial effects do not appear to be mediated through an action on bone metabolism.

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