, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 183-192
Date: 20 Jul 2011

The prevalence and risk factors of vertebral fractures in Korea

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Abstract

We investigated the prevalence and risk factors of vertebral fractures in Korea. In a community-based prospective epidemiology study, 1,155 men and 1,529 women (mean age 59 years, range 43–74) were recruited from Ansung, a rural Korean community. Prevalent vertebral fractures were identified on the lateral spinal radiographs at T11 to L4 using vertebral morphometry. Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured at the lumbar spine, femur neck and total hip. Of the 2,684 subjects, 137 (11.9%) men and 227 (14.8%) women had vertebral fractures and the standardized prevalence for vertebral fractures using the age distribution of Korean population was 8.8% in men and 12.6% in women. In univariate analysis, older age, low hip circumference, low BMD, low income and education levels in both sexes, previous history of fracture in men, high waist-to-hip circumference ratio, postmenopausal status, longer duration since menopause, and higher number of pregnancies and deliveries in women were associated with an increased risk of vertebral fractures. However, after adjusting for age, only low BMD in both sexes and a previous history of fracture in men were significantly associated with an increased risk of vertebral fractures. Vertebral fractures are prevalent in Korea as in other countries. Older age, low BMD and a previous history of fracture are significant risk factors for vertebral fractures.

C. S. Shin and M. J. Kim contributed equally to this work.