HealthDay News — Exposure to higher levels of air pollutants is associated with bone damage in women, according to a study published online Feb. 14 in eClinicalMedicine.
Diddier Prada, M.D., Ph.D., from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues used data from the ethnically diverse Women’s Health Initiative Study (enrollment, September 1994 to December 1998) to examine the impact of air pollutants on bone mineral density (BMD).
The researchers found that mean particulate matter ≤10 μm, nitrogen oxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide averaged over one, three, and five years before the visit were negatively associated with whole-body, total hip, femoral neck, and lumbar spine BMD. Specifically, lumbar spine BMD decreased 0.026 g/cm2/year per a 10 percent increase in three-year mean nitrogen dioxide concentration. There was an inverse association detected between nitrogen oxides exposure and whole-body and lumbar spine BMD.
“Improvements in air pollution exposure, particularly nitrogen oxides, will reduce bone damage in postmenopausal women, prevent bone fractures, and reduce the health cost burden associated with osteoporosis among postmenopausal women,” lead author Andrea Baccarelli, M.D., Ph.D., also from the Mailman School of Public Health, said in a statement. “Further efforts should focus on detecting those at higher risk of air pollution-related bone damage.”