European Spine Journal

, Volume 22, Issue 11, pp 2421–2426 | Cite as

Family history and its association to curve size and treatment in 1,463 patients with idiopathic scoliosis

  • Anna Grauers
  • Aina Danielsson
  • Magnus Karlsson
  • Acke Ohlin
  • Paul Gerdhem
Original Article



To study family history in relation to curve severity, gender, age at diagnosis and treatment in idiopathic scoliosis.


A self-assessment questionnaire on family history of scoliosis was administered to 1,463 untreated, brace or surgically treated idiopathic scoliosis patients.


Out of the 1,463 patients, 51 % had one or more relatives with scoliosis. There was no significant difference between females and males, nor between juvenile and adolescent study participants in this respect (p = 0.939 and 0.110, respectively). There was a significant difference in maximum curve size between patients with one or more relatives with scoliosis (median 35°, interquartile range 25) and patients without any relative with scoliosis (median 32°, interquartile range 23) (p = 0.022). When stratifying patients according to treatment (observation, brace treatment or surgery), we found that it was more common to have a relative with scoliosis among the treated patients (p = 0.011). The OR for being treated was 1.32 (95 % CI 1.06–1.64) when the patient had a relative with scoliosis, compared to not having.


Larger curve sizes were found in patients with a family history of scoliosis than in the ones without. No relation between family history and gender or between family history and age at onset of idiopathic scoliosis was found. Although the presence of a family history of scoliosis may not be a strong prognostic risk factor, it indicates that these patients are at higher risk of developing a more severe curve.


Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis Juvenile idiopathic scoliosis Heredity Prognosis Curve severity 



We thank all the patients that participated in the study. We would like to acknowledge the research personnel in Malmö, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Sundsvall who were involved in the recruitment of the patients. In addition to the authors, the following orthopaedic surgeons contributed to the collection of patients: Henrik Düppe, Ralph Hasserius, Anders Möller and Tage Sahlstrand at the Skåne University Hospital, Malmö; and Hans Möller, Tomas Reigo and Kourosh Jalalpour at the Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. Financial support was provided by funds from the regional agreement on medical training and clinical research (ALF) between Stockholm County Council and Karolinska Institutet, and research funds from Västernorrland County Council.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Grauers
    • 1
    • 2
  • Aina Danielsson
    • 3
  • Magnus Karlsson
    • 4
  • Acke Ohlin
    • 4
  • Paul Gerdhem
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of OrthopaedicsSundsvall and Härnösand County HospitalSundsvallSweden
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Sciences, Intervention and Technology (CLINTEC)Karolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Department of OrthopaedicsSahlgren University HospitalGothenburgSweden
  4. 4.Department of Orthopaedics and Clinical SciencesLund University, Skane University HospitalMalmöSweden
  5. 5.Department of OrthopaedicsKarolinska University HospitalStockholmSweden

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