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Smoking and osteoporosis


Bones health is an important component of our body health. Every woman should know about smoking risks – especially about smoking and osteoporosis.

It is well known that smoking is a risk factor for osteoporosis in women. Several scientific studies demonstrated the direct relationship between smoking and decreased bone density. At the same time the increased frequency of fractures was also noted in smoking women (especially during and after menopause).

Scientists discovered that smoking makes bones weaker in women. Smoking poses a threat to the entire skeletal system. Smoking women have weaker spinal ligaments, accelerated bone loss, decreased bone cell production, severe vertebral disc degeneration, increased recovery times after surgeries, fractures and abrasions.

Smoking and Osteoporosis

Body bones building is starting from childhood and continuing until age 30. Smoking at young age (adolescent, before 30) can slow down and/or stop bone building process and by 30-32 the body would not be able to reach the maximum bone mass. Smoking adolescents usually have smaller skeleton and less bone mass.

After 30-35 smoking also can affect bone health in women – smoking toxic elements reduce estrogen production which is very important for bones health and bone loss. Bone’s strength depends on estrogens and reduced estrogen leads to bone loss.

After 45-50 women already experience natural menopause and reduced levels of female hormones are already contributing to osteoporosis. If women smoke at premenopause and/or menopause period, the level of estrogen reduces dramatically and smoking makes bone loss even worse in the menopausal period of life.

During menopause smoking women have increased chances to break their hips and/or have hip fracture – 30-35% more often than non-smoking women. It was noted that the smoking duration (number of smoking years) can affect the risk of hip fracture more than the number of cigarettes smoked per day and/or per year. For every five years of smoking, the risk of hip fracture in women increases by 6-10%. Smoking after menopause (during post-menopause) has a greater effect on fracture risk than smoking before menopause.

So, smoking menopausal women are 30-35% more likely to break hips during and/or after menopause. Former smoking women have 15-20% increased risk of hip fractures. Women smoking during menopause always should remember about direct correlation between smoking and osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a potential result of menopause hormonal changes (mainly estrogen reduction), especially in smoking women with “small bones”.

Smoking and Osteoporosis

Smoking menopausal woman


Recent scientific studies and observations of health providers noted that:

  • Smoking is responsible for more severe hypoestrogenism (decreased levels of estrogen) during menopause which is leading to more severe bone loss (osteoporosis). Estrogens keep bones strong and healthy.
  • Smoking toxic elements including nicotine “kill” bone-making cells (so called “osteoblasts”).
  • Long smoking and severe smoking lead to fractures during and after menopause.
  • Healing for fracture usually take longer period in smoking women and complications during healing process are noted more often in smoking women.
  • Significant bone loss is observed in smoking women after menopause.
  • Long second hand smoking can also be a cause of early and severe osteoporosis in women.
  • Smoking damages blood vessels and reducing the oxygen transportation to vital organs including bones. And as a result, smoking is damaging bone grow and bone health.
  • In smoking women the liver produces more estrogen-destroying enzymes, which also leads to bone loss.
  • Smoking triggers increased levels of the hormone cortisol, which leads to bone breakdown.
  • Nicotine affects the calcium content in women bones. Calcium is a vital component for bone’s functioning and strengthening.



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