Osteoporosis International

, Volume 24, Issue 8, pp 2269–2273 | Cite as

Relationship of thoracic kyphosis and lumbar lordosis to bone mineral density in women

  • A. PavlovicEmail author
  • D. L. Nichols
  • C. F. Sanborn
  • N. M. DiMarco
Original Article



The relationship between spinal curvature and bone mineral density (BMD) in women was examined. Significant relationships were observed between spinal curvature and BMD in both pre- and postmenopausal women. Excessive spinal curvature may be associated with low bone mass in premenopausal women.


The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between spinal measurements of thoracic and lumbar curvatures and bone mineral density in pre- and postmenopausal women.


The data for this study were obtained from the Texas Woman’s University Pioneer Project. Female participants (n = 242; premenopausal n = 104, postmenopausal n = 138) between the ages of 18 and 60 years were evaluated on multiple health measures. Thoracic and lumbar curvatures were measured with a 24-in. (60 cm) flexicurve. Bone mineral density was assessed via dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (Lunar DPX IQ, version 4.6e). Pearson correlations and logistic regression analysis were used to examine the associations between the obtained spinal curvature measurements and bone mineral density. Significance was set at p < .05.


Significant correlations were observed for the femoral neck and lumbar spine bone mineral density with thoracic and lumbar curve in premenopausal women (r = −.344 to − .525; p < .001). Slightly weaker, but significant, correlations were observed for femoral neck and lumbar spine in relation to thoracic and lumbar curve in postmenopausal women (r = −.288 to −.397; p < .01). Premenopausal women with thoracic curvature greater than 4 cm had a greater risk of having low bone mass compared to premenopausal women with less than 4 cm of curvature (odds ratio = 3.982, 95 % CI = 1.206, 13.144).


The observed negative relationship suggests that as either thoracic or lumbar curvature increases, the regional bone mineral density decreases in both pre- and postmenopausal women.


BMD Low bone mass Spinal curvature 


Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Pavlovic
    • 1
    Email author
  • D. L. Nichols
    • 1
  • C. F. Sanborn
    • 1
  • N. M. DiMarco
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Kinesiology and Institute for Women’s HealthTexas Woman’s UniversityDentonUSA

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