Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Bone Deposition in Adolescent Women Who Smoke
A recent study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health shows that the rate of bone formation in adolescent women is negatively impacted by smoking (men were not studied.) According to the study, young women aged 13-19 who smoked at least one cigarette a day had lower rates of hip and lumbar spine bone mineral density (BMD) accrual than young women who did not smoke. (The lumbar spine and hip are common areas of osteoporosis later in life.) The effect was large enough to put the smokers’ rates of bone formation about a year behind by age 19.
Osteoporosis in older women has been linked to lower rates of bone formation during adolescence, when most bone is formed. So it is possible that the lower rates of of bone formation seen in young women who smoke could lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis later in life.
It is not known whether young women who smoke would “catch up” in terms of bone formation if they were to quit smoking as young adults. Further studies would be needed to test this hypothesis.