In osteoporosis, bones lose mineral density and become brittle, placing people with the condition at higher risk of fractures.
“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 lead researcher, Lorah Dorn, director of research in the division of adolescent medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre.
The researchers examined how smoking, depression, anxiety and alcohol affected the build up of bone among 262 girls ranging in age from 11 to 19 years old.
Over the course of three years, the girls underwent clinical exams and had their total body bone mineral content and bone mineral density measured. The girls were also asked if they had any symptoms of depression or anxiety, and reported how often they smoked or used alcohol.
Although all the girls had about the same bone mass at the age of 13, regardless of how much they smoked, those who smoked frequently were found to have a lower rate of lumbar spine and total hip bone mineral density by age 19 than girls who smoked less.
More significant symptoms of depression were also associated with lower bone mineral density in the lumbar spine among girls in all age groups.
Although the study found a link between smoking and lower bone density in teen girls; it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
Source: HealthDay News