A new study has found that young women who take oral contraceptives are a greater risk of developing low bone density and consequently osteoporosis.
The study by Hawley Almstedt and Christine M. Snow, professors of natural science at the Loyola Marymount University (LMU) and Oregon State University, respectively, is the first to analyze bone density and oral contraceptives use among 18-25 year old women.
According to the authors, it is essential for women to develop strong bone mass during their adolescence.
Although women's peak bone development occurs at the age of 16, women's bones are still developing during their late teens and early twenties, they added.
Oral contraceptives create an obstruction in young women's bodies, affecting their ability to fully develop high bone mass, the study said, adding that women who take birth control pills between 18 and 25 will have lower bone density than those women who do not take the pill.
The research examined 98 women in two groups; those who took oral contraceptives and those who did not. The researchers measured the women's bone density at the hip, whole body and spine by Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry.
The research, titled "Oral contraceptives use in young women is associated with lower bone mineral density than that of controls," was published in "Osteoporosis International."