Teens who hyper-text or hyper-network — meaning they send more than 120 texts a day — could find themselves in a whole new health risk category, US researchers have found.
The Cleveland researchers, who found that one in five teens hyper-text, said that those who used their mobile phones and social networks a lot were 40 percent more likely to have tried cigarettes, two times more likely to have tried alcohol and 43 percent more likely to be binge drinkers, the UK's Daily Telegraph reported.
Lead researcher at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, Dr Scott Frank, said a whole new health risk related to texting was now evident.
"The startling results of this study suggest that when left unchecked texting and other widely popular methods of staying connected can have dangerous health effects on teenagers," Dr Frank said.
"This should be a wake-up call for parents to not only help their children stay safe by not texting and driving, but by discouraging excessive use of the cell phone or social websites in general."
The study also found that this group of teens were 41 percent more likely to have used illicit drugs, 55 percent more likely to have been in a physical fight, nearly three-and-a-half times more likely to have had sex and 90 percent more likely to report four or more sexual partners.
The research findings were presented at the American Public Health Association's conference in Denver.