Teen girls who smoke put bones at risk
Teenage girls who smoke carry a higher risk of developing osteoporosis later in life, according to new research.
Researchers t Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have found that girls who lit up more frequently accumulate less bone during this critical growth period.
The study points to the largest negative impact on bone mineral density occurring in the lumbar region of the spine and the hips - areas of particular fracture risk for older women with osteoporosis.
"Osteoporosis is a costly health problem affecting an estimated 10 million Americans, with an additional 34 million considered at risk," said Lorah Dorn, PhD., principal investigator and director of research in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Cincinnati Children's.
"To our knowledge this is the first longitudinal study to test and demonstrate that smoking by girls, as well as symptoms of depression, have a negative impact on bone accrual during adolescence."
Dorn and her colleagues focused their research on adolescent girls as they progressed through their teens because this is when 50 percent of bone accrual occurs.
"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," Dorn explained.
The researchers set out to determine the impact of smoking, symptoms of depression and anxiety and alcohol use on bone accrual in girls aged 11 to 19 years. The study enrolled 262 healthy girls from the Cincinnati area in age groups of 11, 13, 15 and 17 years.
The girls received annual clinical exams for three years at which measurements were taken for total body bone mineral content and bone mineral density. Using established measures the girls self-reported how often they smoked or used alcohol and any symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Girls in the study who reported a higher rate of symptoms for depression continued to accrue bone, but at a lower upward trajectory than girls who reported fewer depressive symptoms.
The study has been published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.