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02-07-2012 | Bone health | Article

Vertebral fracture more common among Chinese women than men


Free abstract

MedWire News: Vertebral deformities occur at a similar rate among Chinese men and women aged 65 years or older, research findings show.

But vertebral fracture rates are more than twofold higher among Chinese women than Chinese men, say the authors.

Indeed, vertebral fractures were found to occur in men and women at respective rates of 5.0% and 12.1% among a group of 2000 men and 2000 women of Chinese origin.

The study findings, published in the journal Osteoporosis International, showed that vertebral deformities occurred in 14.5% of men and 16.5% of women.

The participants, who had a mean age of 72.6 years, all underwent radiography, from which vertebral deformities or fractures were identified.

Deformities were scored using Genant's SQ system, which allows other vertebral deformities, such as normal variants in vertebral shape or deformities caused by other diseases that are likely to be confused with vertebral fracture, to be discounted.

A total of 627 individuals had at least one vertebral deformity, equivalent to SQ grade 1 or higher and 342 participants had at least one vertebra fracture, equivalent to SQ grade 2 or higher.

The authors report that bone mineral density, physical activity, and grip strength showed a significant inverse association with vertebral fracture risk among both genders.

Increasing age, fracture history, and low back pain were additional factors that showed significant association with vertebral fracture risk, say Yixiang Wang (The Chinese University of Hong Kong) and team.

They remark: "The age-specific vertebral deformity prevalence in [the] present study (dominantly Southern Chinese) is consistent with those of Chinese women in Beijing (dominantly Northern Chinese), Japanese women, and Latin American women and slightly lower than European women and American White women."

Wang et al conclude that the results from the current study "reinforce the view that the prevalence of vertebral fractures tends to be similar across regions."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Lauretta Ihonor

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