The importance of vegetable diversity for the risk of falling and fractures is unclear. Our objective was to examine the relationship between vegetable diversity with injurious falling and fractures leading to hospitalization in a prospective cohort of older Australian women (n = 1429, ≥70 years). Vegetable diversity was quantified by assessing the number of different vegetables consumed daily. Vegetable intake (75 g servings/day) was estimated using a validated food frequency questionnaire at baseline (1998). Over 14.5 years, injurious falls (events = 568, 39.7%), and fractures (events = 404, 28.3%) were captured using linked health records. In multivariable-adjusted Cox regression models, women with greater vegetable diversity (per increase in one different vegetable/day) had lower relative hazards for falls (8%; p = 0.02) and fractures (9%; p = 0.03). A significant interaction between daily vegetable diversity (number/day) and total vegetable intake (75 g servings/day) was observed for falls (p interaction = 0.03) and fractures (p interaction < 0.001). The largest benefit of higher vegetable diversity were observed in the one third of women with the lowest vegetable intake (<2.2 servings/day; falls HR 0.83 95% CI (0.71–0.98); fractures HR 0.74 95% CI (0.62–0.89)). Increasing vegetable diversity especially in older women with low vegetable intake may be an effective way to reduce injurious fall and fracture risk.
- Musculoskeletal health