Vertebral fracture is the most prevalent manifestation of osteoporosis in women, but there is very little information concerning vertebral fracture in men. These studies begin to determine the prevalence, radiographic character, and relationship to bone mineral density of vertebral deformity in men. A group of 144 white men aged 34–94 years (83% between 50 and 80 years) were studied. Thoracic and lumbar spine radiographs were obtained using standardized techniques, and morphometric measures of vertebrae (T6–L5) were obtained using a computerized digitization pad. Vertebral deformities (wedge, midbody, and crush) were identified using several criteria. In addition, a skeletal radiologist independently identified vertebral deformities, as well as vertebrae affected by epiphysitis (Scheuermann's disease), using classic radiographic criteria. Bone mineral density was measured at lumbar spine and proximal femoral sites using dual‐photon absorptiometry. The prevalence of vertebral deformity was related to the criteria used for their identification. Utilizing vertebral‐specific criteria (anterior/posterior or midbody/posterior vertebral height more than 3 SD below vertebral specific mean), 10% of subjects had vertebral deformity. Wedge deformity occurred primarily in thoracic vertebrae and were more common than midbody deformity, which occurred more commonly in lumbar vertebrae. Crush deformities were not observed. Evidence of vertebral epiphysitis was present in 9% of subjects but was not responsible for vertebral deformity sufficient to be falsely identified using the more than −3 SD criterion. Bone mineral density in subjects with vertebral deformity was clearly reduced at both vertebral (p = 0.003) and proximal femoral (p = 0.002) measurements sites. The number of vertebral deformities was negatively correlated with vertebral bone mineral density. In summary, vertebral deformity in men is associated with generalized osteopenia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine