Study Finds that Teen Pregnancy Can Lead to Osteoporosis

Young girl thinking about having a babyDuring the adolescent years, much of a person’s bone mass is accumulated. However, there are several factors that can interfere with bone mass accumulation during adolescence—including teen pregnancy—which may increase the chances of developing osteoporosis later in life.

Some studies have found that pregnancy during the adolescent years has a detrimental effect on bone mass measurements post-pregnancy. But much less is known about how teen pregnancy impacts bone mineral density (BMD) and osteoporosis after menopause.

In a study, Korean researchers evaluated the relationship between adolescent pregnancy and osteoporosis in postmenopausal Korean women.

Results of the study were published online at the end of December 2011 in the article “Adolescent pregnancy is associated with osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.” The article will appear in the journal Menopause.

This cross-sectional study included a total of 719 postmenopausal women. The women were all enrolled in the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2008.

BMD for these women was measured using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA).

Researchers found that postmenopausal women who had a history of adolescent pregnancy had an overall lower BMD in 3 locations—total hip, femoral neck, and lumbar spine—than the women who did not have a history of adolescent pregnancy.

For this study, multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that postmenopausal women who had a history of pregnancy during adolescence were at an increased risk of osteoporosis (odds ratio: 2.20; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.12 to 4.30) compared with women who did not have a history of pregnancy during adolescence. This was observed after adjustments for age, age at menarche, age at menopause, alcohol intake, body mass index, education level, exercise, hormone therapy use, household income, intake of energy and calcium, marital status, parity, smoking history, and vitamin D level.

At the end of the study, the research team determined that pregnancy during adolescence may be a predictor of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.

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