Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Bone density returns when teens stop using Depo Provera

08.02.2005


A new study of the popular injectable contraceptive Depo-Provera shows that teenagers’ bone density recovers after they stop using the drug. Several previous studies have linked Depo-Provera to bone loss, raising concerns about its use among teens, a population in their peak bone-building years.



"These findings are reassuring for those concerned about future risk of fractures," said Delia Scholes, PhD, senior investigator at Group Health Cooperative’s Center for Health Studies and the study’s lead investigator. "This information can be useful in helping young women balance the need to avoid unintended pregnancies with the need to build strong bones."

Scholes’ study, which appears in the February 2005 issue of Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, is the first to show that teen-aged Depo-Provera users’ bone loss appears to be reversed once young women stop taking the contraceptive. The findings come less than three months after a decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue a black box warning on Depo-Provera. The warning states that the drug is associated with bone loss that "may not be completely reversible."


While Scholes and her colleagues found that Depo-Provera use in women aged 14 to 18 was associated with continuous bone density loss at the hip and spine, they also found that users experienced significant gains after they quit using the drug. This provides evidence "that the loss of bone mass is apparently reversed," Scholes concluded.

In 2002, Scholes reported similar results among women aged 18 to 39. However, the current study shows that teen women who discontinued using Depo-Provera appeared to regain their bone density faster than older women did.

Teens use Depo-Provera at higher rates than older women do. About 10 percent of American women aged 15 to 19 who are using birth control use Depo-Provera, compared to just 3 percent of women in the U.S. overall. Given once every three months, the method is effective, relatively low in cost, private, and easy-to-use, Scholes explained. It is also a popular choice among young women for whom other types of contraception have failed.

How the study was conducted

The researchers measured hip, spine, and whole-body bone densities in 170 healthy teen women, aged 14 to 18, who get their care at Group Health Cooperative. The bone densities of the 80 participants receiving Depo-Provera injections were compared to those of 90 similar women who were not using this method. Bone density measurements were taken at the start of the study, and at 6-month intervals over a span of 2 to 3 years. During that period, 61 of the Depo-Provera users stopped using the drug, allowing the scientists to see how their bone density changed once they discontinued.

What the researchers found

As with previous studies, the researchers found that, compared to non-users, Depo-Provera users had significant loss of bone density in the hip and spine.

  • Those who used Depo-Provera experienced an average loss of bone density at the hip of 1.81 percent per year compared with a loss of 0.19 percent per year among non-users.
  • At the spine, women who used Depo-Provera had a bone loss of 0.97 percent, while those not using the drug had an increase in bone density of 1.32 percent. These bone-loss rates are similar to that of women who are breastfeeding or going through menopause.
  • Women who were new Depo-Provera users lost bone density more rapidly than did longer-term users.

Once the Depo-Provera users stopped getting the injections, however, they gained a significant amount of bone density compared to non-users for the same period. For example:

  • The average amount of bone gained in a year for women who quit using Depo-Provera was 1.34 percent at the hip, compared to a slight loss of 0.19 for women who were not taking the drug.
  • Density at the spine increased 2.86 percent for women who quit the drug compared to an increase of 1.32 percent for women who were not taking the drug.

Ut’s not clear from studies to date whether other hormonal methods of birth control might affect bone density, Scholes said. She and her colleagues are currently conducting a study of the effect of oral contraceptive use and discontinuation on women’s bone density.

Scholes noted that a recent U.S. Surgeon General’s report on bone health and osteoporosis provides a number of steps that teens and young women can take to improve or maintain bone density. The 2004 report recommends:

  • Eat foods high in calcium and vitamin D
  • Participate in regular weight-bearing exercise
  • Don’t smoke
  • Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages

Joan DeClaire | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ghc.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

nachricht First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

NIST puts the optical microscope under the microscope to achieve atomic accuracy

23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>