In a new study of more than 5,500 adult e-cigarette users across all age groups, researchers found that e-cigarette use was associated with a higher prevalence of fragility fractures .
While smoking conventional cigarettes is an established risk factor for osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures, the effects of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use on bone health have not been previously studied.
Fragility fractures are defined as a combination of self-reported hip, spine, or wrist fractures that resulted from minimal trauma, such as a fall from a standing height or less.
The researchers conducted a cross-sectional analysis using data from 2017-2018 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Using a sample of more than 5,500 American adult men and women , they studied the association between e-cigarette use and fragility fractures. There were 4,519 (81.2%) who never used e-cigarettes, 1,050 (18.8%) who ever used e-cigarettes, and 444 (8.0%) with self-reported fragility fractures.
The results showed a higher prevalence of fragility fractures among e-cigarette users compared to non-users. The researchers also found that people who used both conventional and e-cigarettes had a higher prevalence of fragility fractures compared to conventional smokers.
The prevalence of e-cigarette use is highest in the 18-25 age group in the United States. Therefore, this study suggests that young e-cigarette users may be increasing their risk of osteoporotic fractures over time .