Osteoporosis International

, Volume 23, Issue 12, pp 2749–2768 | Cite as

Health-related quality of life in patients with osteoporosis in the absence of vertebral fracture: a systematic review

  • S. Wilson
  • C. A. Sharp
  • M. W. J. Davie


To review whether osteoporosis in the absence of vertebral fracture (VFX) affects health-related quality of life (HRQoL), a systematic search of the main literature databases for HRQoL in patients with osteoporosis without VFX was undertaken. This was undertaken. This identified 1,327 articles as potentially relevant to the review. After screening of abstracts and reviewing 168 articles in detail, 27 were considered relevant. HRQoL data were extracted and collated into tables and, where possible, were converted into normative scores and further analysed. Data relating to the associations between HRQoL and bone mineral density (BMD) were also collated. Of the 27 articles included, only 5 directly compared osteoporosis without VFX with a control group (BMD T-score > −1.0, without VFX). Extracted raw data from 21 articles demonstrated that patients with osteoporosis without VFX had clinically relevant reductions in role physical, general health, vitality, mental health domains and the mental component summary score, using SF36. Using Qualeffo-41, pain and physical function were worse in these patients. Also, HRQoL was related to upper femur, but not lumbar spine BMD. HRQoL data in patients with osteoporosis without VFX are limited and variable but suggest that HRQoL is adversely affected by osteoporosis in the absence of VFX. The association of lower BMD and worse HRQoL suggests that more attention should be paid to HRQoL in those without VFX. Future studies are needed to investigate HRQoL in patients with osteoporosis in the absence of fracture, controlling for co-morbidities and social and economic status.


BMD HRQoL Osteoporosis Review Vertebral fracture 



SW was funded by Charles Salt Trust Funds. We thank Scott Rosenberg at the Francis Costello Medical Library at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, for the assistance in accessing the databases, and Dr Wolf Schaeffer and Dr Oxana Kehoe for providing the translations (German and Russian).

Conflicts of interest

MWJD has received speaker fees from Amgen.


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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bone Health Service, Charles Salt LaboratoriesRobert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation TrustOswestryUK

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