The Association of Aromatic Amino Acids with Incident Hip Fracture, aBMD, and Body Composition from the Cardiovascular Health Study

Brian Le, Petra Bůžková, John A Robbins, Howard A. Fink, Mattie Raiford, Carlos M. Isales, James M. Shikany, Steven S. Coughlin, Laura D. Carbone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In 5187 persons from the Cardiovascular Health Study, there was no significant association of dietary intakes of aromatic amino acids (AAA) with areal BMD of the hip or body composition. However, those who had the lowest dietary intakes of AAA were at increased risk for incident hip fractures. Prior studies of the association of protein intake with osteoporosis are conflicting and have not directly examined the relationship of aromatic amino acids (AAA) with fractures, areal bone mineral density (aBMD), and body composition. We sought to determine the relationship of dietary intakes of AAA with osteoporosis parameters in elderly men and women. 5187 men and women aged ≥ 65 years from the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS) with dietary intakes of AAA (tryptophan, phenylalanine, tyrosine) estimated by food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) were included. We examined the relationship between a one-time estimate of daily dietary AAA intake with risk of incident hip fractures over a median of 13.2 years of fracture follow-up. A subset (n = 1336) who had dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) performed were included in a cross-sectional analysis of the association of dietary AAA intake with aBMD of the total hip and measurements of body composition. In multivariable models adjusted for demographic and clinical variables, medication use, and diet, higher dietary AAA intake was not significantly associated with incident hip fractures. All hazard ratios (HR) were less than one (tryptophan, HR 0.14, 95% CI 0.01 to 1.89; phenylalanine, HR 0.60, 95% CI 0.23 to 1.55; tyrosine, HR 0.59, 95% CI 0.27 to 1.32), but confidence intervals were wide and included no difference. However, in post hoc analyses, the lowest quartile of intake for each AAA was associated with an increased risk for hip fracture compared to higher quartiles (p ≤ 0.047 for all). Dietary AAA intakes were not significantly associated with total hip aBMD or any measurements of body composition. Overall, there was no significant association of dietary AAA intake with hip fractures, aBMD of the hip, or body composition. However, there may be a subset of elderly individuals with low dietary intakes of AAA who are at increased for hip fractures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCalcified Tissue International
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Aging
  • Body composition
  • Fractures
  • Nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Endocrinology

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