Background: Vertebral compression fracture (VCF) is frequent in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. However, little is known about whether VCF affects mortality in COPD patients.
Objective: To investigate whether VCFs might increase death in COPD patients.
Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, we enrolled 254 COPD patients with a recent history of hospitalisation due to respiratory problems. Patients were assessed for VCF using quantitative morphometric analyses of lateral chest radiographs; 211 patients received follow-up examinations for 2 years.
Results: Of the 211 COPD patients analysed, 60 (28.4%) had VCF at enrolment. During the follow-up period, 33/60 (55.0%) patients with and 46/151 patients (30.5%) without VCF died (P = 0.003, log-rank test). Cox proportional hazard analysis revealed that VCF is an independent risk factor for death after adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, smoking, dyspnoea scale, forced expiratory volume in 1 sec (FEV1) and comorbidities (hazard ratio for VCF = 1.79, 95%CI 1.11-2.89, P = 0.02).
Conclusion: VCF might be an independent risk factor for death in male COPD patients.