New Delhi: Experts have said youngsters who smoke are at risk of developing low bone density, a condition which may lead to an increased risk of developing osteoporosis. Raju Vaishya, Senior Orthopaedic Surgeon, at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, in a statement on Wednesday said, “Smoking has a negative effect on the bones, causing loss of bone mass and, eventually, premature osteoporosis when young people take up smoking.” Smoking typically begins in high school or the college years as a habit, when bones are still developing. The habit also interferes with calcium and vitamin D absorption in the body. Doctors added, in case of a bone injury, a person who smokes is more likely to have a longer period of recovery and greater risk of complication. Vaishya added,”Smoking during the years of bone-building puts you at risk of osteoporosis in later stage. Smoking after 30 will speed up loss of bone mass almost twice as faster.” Smoking kills over one million people in the India annually, according to The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) India report. The economic burden of tobacco consumption is around Rs 104,500 crore per annum. According to a study published in the journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society, smoking was found to be independent risk factors for low bone density among both men and women. Each additional pack-year of smoking raised the odds of having low bone density by 0.4 per cent. The participants with normal bone density had an average of 36.6 pack-year of smoking, while those with low bone density had an average of 46.9 pack-years of smoking history.

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