The objective of the study was to explore the influence of menstrual irregularities, oral contraceptives and smoking on bone mineral density (BMD) development and bone turnover with time. Healthy young women (n = 118) were divided into four categories: (a) women neither smoking nor using oral contraceptives; (b) women who were smokers; (c) women using oral contraceptives; (d) women who were smoking and using oral contraceptives. They responded to a validated questionnaire with 34 questions concerning lifestyle and the Sense of Coherence scale (SOC). BMD was measured by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Deoxypyridinoline (DPD) was measured in urine. Data were analyzed by multiple linear regression analysis. Among smokers, BMD level decreased during a 2-year period and smoking was associated with a larger negative change in BMD. Use of oral contraceptives moderated the negative impact of smoking. Women using oral contraceptives at baseline and with regular bleeding induced by contraceptive pills had a significantly higher BMD at baseline and at follow-up. They also had lower SOC than women who had natural regular bleedings. Use of oral contraceptives in combination with smoking was linked to high alcohol consumption and higher frequency of self-reported body weight reduction, which reduced the negative BMD change in this category. DPD level and difference were strongly associated with estrogen influence. It is concluded that smokers without OCs had a negative BMD development and BMD in young women with irregular menstruations seems to be improved by OC.
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