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The study, done in India, looked at more than 3,700 people from 28 villages outside the city of Hyderabad.
The researchers estimated exposure of fine particulate air pollution and asked participants what fuel they used for cooking. Fine particulate air pollution consists of tiny particles measuring 2.5 micrometers and also black carbon.
Particle levels in the area were far higher than the maximum recommended by the World Health Organization, researchers said.
They then compared this information with bone density in participants' lumbar spine and left hip.
The conclusion: Exposure to high levels of fine particulate matter was linked to lower bone mass.
"This study contributes to the limited and inconclusive literature on air pollution and bone health," researcher Otavio Ranzani said in a news release.
He's a postdoctoral fellow at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) in Spain.
The report was published online Jan. 3 in the journal JAMA Network Open.
-- Steven Reinberg
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