Warning: Smokers may have a “bone to pick” with this blog post.
The dangers of smoking are well documented. Smoking comes with health hazards that affect more than just your lungs, but your bones, too.
Researchers from National Jewish Health and other institutions conducted a large study of middle-aged to elderly smokers.
Here is a rundown of their findings by the numbers:
- 3,321: Total number of current and ex-smokers in survey
- 45-80: The age range of participants
- 10: Minimum of pack-years (smoking 20 cigarettes everyday for a year) of smoke history using quantitative CT to assess bone density.
- 58%: Percentage of participants who had a low bone density
- 31%: Percentage of participants who had intermediate bone density
- 11%: Percentage of participants who had normal bone density
Why is this important? While smoking is a recognized risk factor for osteoporosis, it is not currently among the criteria for a bone-density screening.
Medical News Today encourages smokers of both genders to be screened for low bone density in an effort to reduce future fractures, reduce costs of health care and improve current and past smokers’ quality of life.
Visit Medical News Today for more information on the study.