Fluoride Action Network


Epidemiologic studies of the relations between drinking-water fluoride levels and bone mineral density (BMD) and fracture are characterized by disparate conclusions and an absence of information about individual circulating fluoride levels. This study relates serum fluoride concentrations, which reflect individual fluoride exposures, to BMD and bone fractures. Data are from 1300 female residents of 3 small communities in which the water fluoride concentrations were 52.6 or 210.4 micromol/L. Circulating serum fluoride concentrations were assessed by ion-specific electrode. Fluoride intake was estimated from interviews describing water and water-based beverage consumption and duration of residence in the community. BMD was measured by dual-energy X-ray densitometry and single-photon densitometry. Self-reported fractures were confirmed by medical record abstraction. The mean serum fluoride concentration in the high-fluoride community, 2.11 +/- 0.05 micromol/L, was significantly higher than serum fluoride concentrations in the control and high-calcium communities with water fluoridation to 52.6 micromol/L. The mean serum fluoride concentrations in these latter 2 communities were 1.6 +/- 0.04 and 1.22 +/- 0.05 micromol/L, respectively. Serum fluoride was not significantly related to BMD after adjusting for covariates including age and body size. The mean distal radius BMD, however, was significantly higher in the high-fluoride community. Serum fluoride concentrations were not related to incident osteoporotic fractures with 4 y of observation. Serum fluoride concentrations were not associated with BMD or osteoporotic fractures among female residents of communities with water fluoride concentrations of 52.6 or 210.4 micromol/L