Osteoporosis is prevalent among women 50 years of age and older and accounts for numerous fractures and the related deaths of many sufferers. In this study, 22.4% of the women reported having osteoporosis. Smoking contributes substantially to osteoporotic fractures. This study assessed how different trajectories of women's smoking, covering the ages 40 to 48 years, relate to osteoporosis at age 65. Trajectory analysis of tobacco use data reveals smoking patterns which may have differing relationships to osteoporosis. Logistic regression analyses revealed the varying relationships of different smoking patterns to osteoporosis. As hypothesized, the chronic/heavy smokers were significantly more likely than the non-smokers to report having osteoporosis. Quitters and moderate smokers did not differ significantly from non-smokers on the osteoporosis measure. Chronic/heavy smokers should not be the only focus of public health efforts to reduce smoking and the associated risks of osteoporosis. The findings also highlight the efficacy of women smokers quitting in their 40s in order to reduce their likelihood of contracting osteoporosis.
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