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World university rankings -9/26/2014, 9:52 AM

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Back to war we go -9/24/2014, 9:55 AM

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State education rankings -9/19/2014, 9:52 AM

Kobach gone wild -9/19/2014, 9:52 AM

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Taylor's next move -9/5/2014, 10:16 AM

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Regulation overreach -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Sharpton, Kobach's common ground -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

In charge of all -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Pocket-book debate? -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Educating voters on education -9/2/2014, 9:33 AM

Crazy election season in Kansas -9/2/2014, 9:33 AM

An erosion of authenticity -8/31/2014, 4:39 PM

Blasphemy, free speech and the 'black mass' -8/31/2014, 4:39 PM

Labor Day -8/31/2014, 4:39 PM

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Blacks must confront reality -8/29/2014, 10:00 AM

The leadership scam -8/29/2014, 10:00 AM

Green monster -8/28/2014, 10:14 AM

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Senate campaign -8/28/2014, 10:14 AM

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An obvious ploy -8/25/2014, 9:29 AM

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Cannabis therapy -- Why bother? -8/25/2014, 9:29 AM

Business climate of Kansas -8/24/2014, 11:39 AM

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Festering wound -8/24/2014, 11:39 AM

Big banks settling -8/22/2014, 10:16 AM

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Evil strikes back -8/21/2014, 9:45 AM

Art appreciation -8/21/2014, 9:45 AM

Abuse of power -8/20/2014, 8:22 AM

Ferguson police arrest reporters for reporting -8/20/2014, 8:21 AM

Don't 'got milk' -8/20/2014, 8:21 AM

Another road map to success? -8/19/2014, 10:05 AM

It's the abuse of power, stupid -8/19/2014, 10:04 AM

Riots in Ferguson, and what they mean -8/18/2014, 9:57 AM

One of billions -8/18/2014, 9:57 AM

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SPOTLIGHT
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Contributing factor

Published on -4/30/2013, 10:55 AM

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Recently, a nice column outlined challenges related to prevention and treatment of bone loss due to osteoporosis, a serious public health problem. However, a critical contributor is often overlooked -- smoking.

We've known smoking was a risk factor for osteoporosis for more than 20 years, and recent studies show a direct relationship between tobacco use and decreased bone density and fractures.

The longer one smokes, the more cigarettes one consumes, the greater the risk of fracture in later years.

Smokers who do fracture can take longer to heal, with more complications, than nonsmokers.

Sixty-eight percent of those with osteoporosis are women. Women who smoke produce less estrogen and tend to experience menopause earlier than nonsmokers, leading to increased bone loss.

Even second-hand smoke exposure during youth has been implicated in developing low bone mass.

Quitting reduces the risk of bone thinning and fractures, but may take several years to lower a former smoker's risk.

We rightly advise people at risk for osteoporosis to exercise more and avoid sedentary living.

The risk produced by smoking is as high as that from a sedentary lifestyle, and we really shouldn't emphasize one while ignoring the other.

Jon Hauxwell

Hays

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