HealthDay News — Electronic cigarette use is associated with an increased prevalence of fragility fractures, according to a study published online November 22 in the American Journal of Medicine Open.

Dayawa D. Agoons, MD, MPH, from UPMC Pinnacle in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and colleagues examined the association between e-cigarette use and fragility fractures using pooled 2017 to 2018 data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Data were included for 5569 participants. Fragility fracture was defined as a composite of self-reported fracture of the hip, spine, or wrist resulting from minimal trauma.

The researchers found that 81.2 and 18.8% of participants were never and ever e-cigarette users, respectively; 8% had self-reported fragility fractures. In adjusted models, compared with never users, ever e-cigarette users had a higher prevalence of self-reported fragility fractures (adjusted prevalence ratio, 1.46). An increased prevalence of fragility fractures also was seen for former and current e-cigarette users compared with never users (adjusted prevalence ratios, 1.89 and 1.77, respectively).

“To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the relationship between e-cigarette use and fragility fractures,” Agoons said in a statement. “It fills an important knowledge gap given the increasing popularity of e-cigarette use and the significant economic burden and known morbidity and mortality associated with osteoporotic fractures. Our findings provide data to inform researchers, healthcare policy makers, and tobacco regulators about the potential association of e-cigarette use with reduced bone health.”

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