Smoking during adolescence can affect bone health in females


January 15, 2013

Topic: orthopaedic problems

Smoking may raise RA risk in women, study shows

A new study recently published in the Journal of Adolescent Health sheds some light on how smoking cigarettes affects teenage girls.

Researchers from Cincinnati, Ohio clinically examined more than 250 healthy teen girls between the ages of 11 to 19, took measurements to determine the subjects' total body bone mineral content and bone mineral density, and inquired about their smoking and alcohol habits. They discovered that the participants who smoked frequently were more likely to have lower bone density in the hip and lumbar spine.

The study's investigators also found that low bone density of the spine also correlated with the subject experiencing symptoms of depression.

The research focused on adolescent girls because it is a critical time for bone accrual, and early deficiencies can lead to an increased risk for osteoporosis and other orthopaedic problems. 

"As much bone is accrued in the two years surrounding a girl's first menstrual cycle as is lost in the last four decades of life," said principal investigator Lorah Dorn, Ph.D.

There are approximately 4.5 million women in the U.S. aged 50 or older who have osteoporosis of the hip, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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