Association Between Calcium Ingested from Drinking Water and Femoral Bone Density in Elderly Women: Evidence from the EPIDOS Cohort


  • EPIDOS Study Group

    Coordinators: G. Bréart, P. Dargent-Molina (Epidemiology); P.J. Meunier, A.M. Schott (Clinical); D. Hans (Bone densitometry and ultrasound quality control); P.D. Delmas (Biochemistry).

    Principal investigators: C. Baudoin, J.L. Sebert (Amiens); M.C. Chapuy, A.M. Schott (Lyon); F. Favier, C. Marcelli (Montpellier); E. Hausherr, C.J. Menkes, C. Cormier (Paris); H. Grandjean, C. Ribot (Toulouse).


Although the main source of dietary calcium is dairy products, the calcium contained in mineral water, which is as available as that of milk, could provide a valuable source of calcium. We analyzed the data from the EPIDOS multicenter study to evaluate the relationship between both dietary calcium and that supplied by drinking water and bone density measured at the femoral neck by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The study included 4434 women over 75 years of age who had not received any treatment likely to interfere with calcium metabolism. A significant correlation was found between total calcium intake and bone density at the femoral neck (r = 0.10, p < 0.001). After adjustment for the main variables influencing bone density, an increase of 100 mg/day in calcium from drinking water was associated to a 0.5% increase in femoral bone density, while a similar increase in dietary calcium from other sources only led to a 0.2% increase; however, this difference was not significant. The consumption of calcium-rich mineral water may be of interest, especially in older women who consume little calcium from dairy products.