Teen pregnancy associated with future osteoporosis

April 1, 2012

Women whose first pregnancy occurred during adolescence face an increased likelihood of postmenopausal osteoporosis and osteoporsis-related fracture, according to a Korean study.

Women whose first pregnancy occurred during adolescence face an increased likelihood of postmenopausal osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related fracture, according to a Korean study.

Using data obtained from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare in 2008, researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of 719 postmenopausal women, 93 (12%) of whom had a history of adolescent pregnancy. The women answered demographic, socioeconomic, and lifestyle questions and were interviewed about age at menarche and menopause, parity, age at first birth, use of hormone therapy, and history of fracture of the hip, forearm, or vertebrae. They also underwent a health exam, nutrition survey, and bone mineral density (BMD) screening with dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry.

Compared with those who didn't become pregnant during adolescence, women who did were shorter, older, and had greater parity, lower calcium intake, and earlier age at first birth and menarche. The also were less likely to use hormone therapy. Weight, body mass index, smoking and alcohol use, vitamin D level, and age at menopause weren't significantly different between the groups.

Applying multivariate odds ratios for osteoporosis according to a history of adolescent pregnancy, women who were pregnant as adolescents had an 1.84-fold risk of developing postmenopausal osteoporosis compared with those who hadn't been pregnant in their teens, and the association was strengthened after adjusting for age at menarche and at menopause, parity, hormone therapy, calcium intake, and vitamin D level.

Cho GJ, Shin J, Yi KW, et al. Adolescent pregnancy is associated with osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Menopause. 2012;19(4): DOI: 10.1097/gme.0b013e3182337150.