Scheuermann disease [OMIM number 181440] is the most common cause of structural kyphosis in adolescence. Segregation analysis using a model with gender effects was applied to 90 pedigrees from Barnaul (West Siberia, Russia) ascertained through a proband with Scheuermann disease. The transmission probability model was used to detect major gene effect. A significant contribution of a major gene to the control of the pathology was established. Inheritance of the disease can be described within the framework of a dominant major gene diallele model. According to this model, Scheuermann disease should never occur in the absence of the mutant allele. All male carriers of the mutant allele develop the disease, while only a half of female carriers manifest it. We found a high frequency of idiopathic scoliosis in the families with Scheuermann disease (0.08 vs. 0.01-0.02 in general population). We also observed a succession of idiopathic scoliosis and Scheuermann disease in consecutive generations. The familial aggregation of these two spinal pathologies in the present sample may indicate a genetic unity of Scheuermann disease and idiopathic scoliosis.