Does Teen Pregnancy Lead to Osteoporosis?
Much of a person’s bone mass is accumulated during adolescence. But some factors, such as teen pregnancy, may interfere with bone mass accumulation during the adolescent years. These factors can eventually lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis—including osteoporosis of the spine.
Studies have shown that teen pregnancy can have harmful effects on bone mass after pregnancy. However, little is known about how teen pregnancy actually affects bone mineral density (BMD) and osteoporosis postmenopause.
To examine the link between adolescent pregnancy and osteoporosis more closely, Korean researchers created a cross-sectional study that included postmenopausal Korean women. They looked at how teen pregnancy directly affects osteoporosis risk in these women.
Their findings were published online in December 2011 in the article “Adolescent pregnancy is associated with osteoporosis in postmenopausal women,” and it will appear in Menopause.
A total of 719 postmenopausal women participated in the study; all study participants were enrolled in the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2008.
Using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), BMD of the total hip, femoral neck, and lumbar spine was measured in these women.
Is There a Link Between Teen Pregnancy and Osteoporosis?
Researchers determined that for the postmenopausal women who had a history of teen pregnancy, these women had overall lower BMD in the total hip, femoral neck, and lumbar spine compared with the postmenopausal women who did not have a history of teen pregnancy.
Using multivariate logistic regression analyses, the research team found that compared with women who had no history of teen pregnancy, the postmenopausal women with a history of teen pregnancy had an increased risk of osteoporosis (odds ratio: 2.20; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.12 to 4.30). Researchers observed this even after adjustments were made for age, age at menarche, age at menopause, body mass index, education level, exercise, household income, intake of alcohol, intake of calcium, intake of energy, marital status, parity, smoking history, use of hormone therapy, and vitamin D level.
As a result of their findings, the researchers concluded that teen pregnancy may be a predictor of osteoporosis—including osteoporosis of the spine—in postmenopausal women.