Nav: Home

Bone mass may suffer when teenage girls binge drink

June 14, 2018

PISCATAWAY, NJ - Teenage girls who regularly binge drink may fail to reach their peak bone mass, according to a new study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

The study, of 87 college women, found that those who regularly binge drank in high school had lower bone mass in the spine. That was true even when researchers accounted for other factors that affect bone density--such as exercise, nutrition and smoking habits.

The findings suggest that poorer bone health can be added to the list of binge drinking risks for young women, said lead researcher Joseph LaBrie, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Loyola Marymount University, in Los Angeles, who conducted the research with health and human sciences professor Hawley Almstedt, Ph.D., R.D.N.

There are well-known short-term risks, LaBrie pointed out--such as alcohol poisoning, car accidents, poor academic performance and sexual assault.

"This study identifies a potential lifetime consequence of binge drinking in young women," he said.

The findings are based on female college students ages 18 to 20--a time when, LaBrie said, bone mass should still be accruing. Women generally reach their peak bone density at the spine between the ages of 20 and 25.

The study participants answered questionnaires about certain lifestyle factors and underwent measurements of their bone density in the lumbar spine. When it came to alcohol, the women were asked to think back to high school and report how often they'd binged--having four or more drinks within two hours.

Overall, LaBrie's team found, women who'd binged frequently since high school had lower bone mass than their peers. "Frequent" meant they'd binged at least 115 times--or nearly twice a month, on average.

The findings expand previous research linking heavy drinking to lower bone mass and higher fracture risk in older adults, suggesting that later in life bone issues may be linked to drinking early in life. Meanwhile, previous animal research has suggested that alcohol hinders healthy development of young bones.

LaBrie noted that anything that keeps a young woman from reaching her peak bone mass will probably raise her odds of developing osteoporosis years down the road.

For now, the findings offer girls and young women one more reason to avoid binge drinking and offers parents further support for seeking to delay onset of children's drinking.

"When we consider bone health," LaBrie said, "we always talk about things like exercise, calcium and vitamin D, and not smoking. We may also need to talk about avoiding binge drinking."
-end-
To arrange an interview, please contact Joseph W. LaBrie, Ph.D., at 310-403-3615 or email jlabrie@lmu.edu.

LaBrie, J. W., Boyle, S., Earle, A., & Almstedt, H. C. (May 2018). Heavy episodic drinking is associated with poorer bone health in adolescent and young adult women. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 79(3), 391-398. doi:10.15288/jsad.2018.79.391

The Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs (http://www.jsad.com) is published by the Center of Alcohol Studies at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. It is the oldest substance-related journal published in the United States.

To learn about education and training opportunities for addiction counselors and others at the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies, please visit AlcoholStudiesEd.rutgers.edu.

Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs

Related Smoking Articles:

A case where smoking helped
A mutation in the hemoglobin of a young woman in Germany was found to cause her mild anemia.
No safe level of smoking
People who consistently smoked an average of less than one cigarette per day over their lifetime had a 64 percent higher risk of earlier death than people who never smoked.
Nearly half of women who stop smoking during pregnancy go back to smoking soon after baby is born
A major new review published today by the scientific journal Addiction reveals that in studies testing the effectiveness of stop-smoking support for pregnant women, nearly half (43 percent) of the women who managed to stay off cigarettes during the pregnancy went back to smoking within six months of the birth.
If you want to quit smoking, do it now
Smokers who try to cut down the amount they smoke before stopping are less likely to quit than those who choose to quit all in one go, Oxford University researchers have found.
Cochrane news: Have national smoking bans worked in reducing harms in passive smoking?
The most robust evidence yet, published today in the Cochrane Library, suggests that national smoking legislation does reduce the harms of passive smoking, and particularly risks from heart disease.
Advocating for raising the smoking age to 21
Henry Ford Hospital pulmonologist Daniel Ouellette, M.D., who during his 31-year career in medicine has seen the harmful effects of smoking on his patients, advocates for raising the smoking age to 21.
Stress main cause of smoking after childbirth
Mothers who quit smoking in pregnancy are more likely to light up again after their baby is born if they feel stressed.
As smoking declines, more are likely to quit
Smokeless tobacco and, more recently, e-cigarettes have been promoted as a harm reduction strategy for smokers who are 'unable or unwilling to quit.' The strategy, embraced by both industry and some public health advocates, is based on the assumption that as smoking declines overall, only those who cannot quit will remain.
Smoking around your toddler could be just as bad as smoking while pregnant
Children whose parents smoked when they were toddlers are likely to have a wider waist and a higher BMI by time they reach ten years of age, reveal researchers at the University of Montreal and its affiliated CHU Sainte Justine Research Centre.
Smoking and angioplasty: Not a good combination
Quitting smoking when you have angioplasty is associated with better quality of life and less chest pain.

Related Smoking Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Digital Manipulation
Technology has reshaped our lives in amazing ways. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers reveal how what we see, read, believe — even how we vote — can be manipulated by the technology we use. Guests include journalist Carole Cadwalladr, consumer advocate Finn Myrstad, writer and marketing professor Scott Galloway, behavioral designer Nir Eyal, and computer graphics researcher Doug Roble.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#530 Why Aren't We Dead Yet?
We only notice our immune systems when they aren't working properly, or when they're under attack. How does our immune system understand what bits of us are us, and what bits are invading germs and viruses? How different are human immune systems from the immune systems of other creatures? And is the immune system so often the target of sketchy medical advice? Those questions and more, this week in our conversation with author Idan Ben-Barak about his book "Why Aren't We Dead Yet?: The Survivor’s Guide to the Immune System".