Morphometric vertebral fractures of the lower thoracic and lumbar spine, physical function and quality of life in men

Osteoporos Int. 2009 May;20(5):787-92. doi: 10.1007/s00198-008-0744-6. Epub 2008 Sep 19.

Abstract

The epidemiology and sequelae of morphometric vertebral fracture (MVF) are poorly documented. We found that MVFs of the lower thoracic and lumbar spine were associated with poor quality of life and impaired physical function in men. We recommend that morphometric X-ray absorptiometry be included in routine requests for bone densitometry.

Introduction: Vertebral fractures are sentinel events for osteoporosis. We aimed to compare quality of life and physical function in men with and without MVF.

Methods: Using morphometric X-ray absorptiometry (T10-L4), MVFs were identified in a random sample of men aged 20-93 years. Moderate and severe wedge, biconcave or compression deformities (>25% reduction in any vertebral height) were classified as MVFs.

Results: Of 1,147 men, MVFs were identified in 64. No MVFs were detected for men in their twenties. Prevalence was 1.5% for 30-39 years, 1.4% 40-49 years, 3.2% 50-59 years, 4.7% 60-69 years, 10.0% 70-79 years and 14.6% 80+ years. Among 555 men aged 60+ years, those with MVFs were twice as likely to have quality of life scores in the lowest tertile (age-adjusted OR = 2.35, 95%CI 1.24-4.45). MVFs were associated with lower mean age-adjusted physical activity scores [11.3 (95%CI 9.0-13.8) vs 14.0 (13.2-14.9), P = 0.04] and longer mean age-adjusted 'Up-&-Go' times [9.5 (8.9, 10.1) vs 8.9 (8.8, 9.1) s, P = 0.06].

Conclusion: Despite most men being unaware of their condition, MVFs were associated with poor quality of life and impaired physical function. We recommend that morphometric X-ray absorptiometry be included in routine requests for bone densitometry because detection of MVFs has important implications for osteoporosis management in men.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon / methods
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Height
  • Bone Density
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / injuries*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Factors
  • Spinal Fractures / diagnostic imaging*
  • Spinal Fractures / epidemiology
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / injuries*
  • Victoria / epidemiology
  • Young Adult