Undated (WXOW) - Osteoporosis causes bones to become fragile and more prone to break.
The disease is much more common in women than men, but now a study in the "Journal of Adolescent Health" finds that girls who smoke put themselves at an even greater disadvantage.
Scientists studied 262 healthy girls between the ages of eleven and seventeen for three years.
Over time, they found that girls who smoke have decreased bone density which could lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis later in life.
The teenage years are crucial in a woman's bone formation because a girl gains as much bone in the first two years surrounding her first menstrual cycle, as she loses in her last forty years as an adult.
Women start with lower bone density than men, and they lose bone mass more quickly as they age.
So, the authors say teens shouldn't give the process a head start by smoking.
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