Smoking hurts teen girls' bones | Science News



Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


Smoking hurts teen girls' bones

Lower density likely in adolescents who smoke cigarettes

8:09pm, December 5, 2012

High school might be a bit early to start thinking about bone loss and osteoporosis, but a new study finds that teenage girls who smoke may put themselves on a trajectory to accrue less bone mineral than those who don’t light up.

Osteoporosis is a loss of bone density that predisposes people to fractures and leaves many elderly people — particularly women — hunched over. While bones regenerate and remodel nonstop over a lifetime, the teen years are crucial to developing a strong, dense skeleton.

“This age group is when you should gain about 50 percent of your bone accrual,” says study coauthor Lorah Dorn, a developmental psychologist and pediatric nurse practitioner at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Failing to build adequate bone strength in adolescence could jeopardize a young woman’s ability to fully accumulate a “bone bank” that will be needed when she someday reaches menopause and begins to

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from this issue of Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content