May 2013

Smoking hazardous to your bones!

Women who smoke have weaker bones than women who don’t. And a study indicates that’s also the case for teenage girls, who may be setting themselves up for weaker bones as they get old according to research Larah Dorn of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where she followed this data on 262 health girls..

The researchers say girls who entered adolescence had about the same bone density whether or not they smoked, but the girls who smoked more had gained less bone at the end of adolescence.  Dorn says that’s especially important because the teen years are crucial for building bone for adulthood:

“You’re really laying what we think is an important foundation for bone health across the lifespan of a woman.”

The study in the Journal of Adolescent Health was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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Preventing repeat births for teens

Nearly 1 in 5 teen births are repeat births, about 183 a day.  Many repeat births could be prevented through postpartum use of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) such as IUDs and implants. Counseling women during prenatal visits about postpartum contraception, and offering women LARC in the hospital after delivery makes it easier for women to avoid unintended pregnancy.