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Osteoporos Int. 1993 Dec;3(6):300-7.

Vertebral deformity, bone mineral density, back pain and height loss in unscreened women over 50 years.

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  • 1Charles Salt Research Centre, Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Oswestry, UK.

Abstract

Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured in the lumbar spine using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry in 222 unscreened women (aged 50-82 years), and information on back pain and historic loss of standing height was obtained at interview. Vertebral morphometry was performed on lateral spinal radiographs. The shape of the vertebral body was quantified using appropriate vertebral shape indices (VSIs), and vertebral deformities were identified using thresholds defined in terms of the means (M) and standard deviations (SD) of these VSIs for the whole group. Severity of deformity was defined as either grade 1 (M+2SD < VSI < M+3SD), grade 2 (M+3SD < VSI < M+4SD or grade 3 (VSI > M+4SD). Subjects with grade 1 vertebral deformities were older than subjects without such deformities, but did not have a reduced age-related Z-score of BMD. Grade 2 wedge and concave deformities were associated with a reduced age-related Z-score of BMD, suggesting that the aetiology of such deformities is closest to conventional concepts of 'osteoporotic fracture'. Grade 3 deformities were associated with neither increased age nor decreased BMD. Stature decreased in these subjects with age. Subjects reporting historic height loss had a higher mean number of wedge deformities. Subjects with back pain did not have a higher incidence of vertebral deformity than subjects without, confirming that many deformities were asymptomatic. Neither back pain nor historic loss of height were found to be associated with low spinal BMD.

PMID:
8292840
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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