Epidemiology of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis

J Child Orthop. 2013 Feb;7(1):3-9. doi: 10.1007/s11832-012-0457-4. Epub 2012 Dec 11.


Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is a common disease with an overall prevalence of 0.47-5.2 % in the current literature. The female to male ratio ranges from 1.5:1 to 3:1 and increases substantially with increasing age. In particular, the prevalence of curves with higher Cobb angles is substantially higher in girls than in boys: The female to male ratio rises from 1.4:1 in curves from 10° to 20° up to 7.2:1 in curves >40°. Curve pattern and prevalence of scoliosis is not only influenced by gender, but also by genetic factors and age of onset. These data obtained from school screening programs have to be interpreted with caution, since methods and cohorts of the different studies are not comparable as age groups of the cohorts and diagnostic criteria differ substantially. We do need data from studies with clear standards of diagnostic criteria and study protocols that are comparable to each other.

Keywords: Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; Epidemiology; Prevalence; School screening; Scoliosis.

Publication types

  • Review