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Smoking Leads to Brittle Nails, Study Shows

Review on March 16, 2009
Smoking has long been known to cause detrimental effects to the body including lung cancer and heart problems, as well as delicate bones and brittle nails. Many women find that they suffer from brittle nails as side effects of menopause. The breaking and cracking of brittle nails can often cause women to lose confidence, and add to a general feeling of discomfort and depression during menopause. Smoking during this period may accelerate the onset of brittle nails. Recent research has pointed to a possible reprieve in the development of brittle nails for women who quit smoking at this time.

Brittle nail news

A study undertaken by the Royal London School of Medicine has shown that smoking can heavily increase the likelihood of a woman developing brittle nails, which are often brought on by fluctuating hormone levels during menopause.

In this research study, 2156 smokers and 9705 non-smokers were tested for bone density, which can indicate the strength and likely hood of brittle nails.

The results show that after and during menopause, female smokers are at a much higher risk of developing a lower bone density, and therefore brittle nails. Researchers also found that prior to menopause, both smokers and non-smokers are at a similarly low risk of diminishing bone density. In fact, smoking after menopause can have such an adverse affect on women that they not only suffer from brittle nails but their bone density can reduce so much as to double chance of bones fracturing.

This is a truly shocking insight for female smokers entering the menopausal period, and is another lifestyle choice which can affect brittle nails and the other symptoms of menopause.

  • 'A meta-analysis of cigarette smoking, bone mineral density and risk of hip fracture: recognition of a major effect', M R Law, reader,a A K Hackshaw, lecturer Department of Environmental and Preventive Medicine, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, St Bartholomew's and The Royal London School of Medicine, London EC1M 6BQ