Balance training and smoking in young men
Osteoporos Int. 2006 Nov 7; [Epub ahead of print] Balance training program is highly effective in improving functional status and reducing the risk of falls in elderly women with osteoporosis: a randomized controlled trial. Madureira MM and others. PMID: 17089080. This study, which involved only elderly women with osteoporosis, tested the effectiveness of a one-year balance training program on balance, mobility and falling frequency. There were statistically significant improvements in all areas tested when the study participants were compared to controls who received no training. The authors conclude: “This longitudinal prospective study demonstrated that an intervention using balance training is effective in improving functional and static balance, mobility and falling frequency in elderly women with osteoporosis.” Editor's comments: Even though only women were involved in this study, most certainly men would also benefit with such training. So older individuals with osteoporosis should definitely consider balance training to help them avoid what could be catastrophic falls that lead to fractures. I have a friend who underwent balance training given at a physical therapy clinic in town. During her training they were constantly letting her know how much improvement there was in the various parameters of balance. One would assume that as long as there is improvement in balance, even if the training lasts less than one year, there should be a decreased risk of falling. I would also think that occasional recall visits to the physical therapist would be needed to be sure the individual has maintained the improved balance after leaving the training program.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Oct 31; [Epub ahead of print], Smoking in young men is associated with lower bone mineral density and reduced cortical thickness. Lorentzon M and others. PMID: 17077132. Smoking has been a known risk factor for reduced bone mineral density (BMD) in older individuals, but this study wanted to test the effect of smoking on young men's BMD. Both the areal BMD (aBMD)and volumetric BMD (vBMD) were tested along with bone size. These young men averaged 18.9 years of age and all smoked daily. When other factors were adjusted for, smokers' DXA results showed significantly lower aBMD than non-smokers Peripheral quantitative computerized tomography (pQCT) showed that smokers had lower cortical thickness than controls, but there was no difference in vBMD. Editor's comments: Here is one more reason for young men to quit or not start smoking. However, I expect that people in their teens or early twenties will be little influenced by one more risk factor associated with smoking. Especially since they all know that cancer, emphysema, heart disease and myriads of other problems affect smokers far greater than they do non-smokers. These health issues, however, haven't stopped them from smoking yet. But this might provide parents or other loved ones with another tool to try to get children to either not start or to stop smoking.
Return to Home