Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 590–592 | Cite as

Self-report overestimates true height loss: implications for diagnosis of osteoporosis

  • Fraser BirrellEmail author
  • Mark S. Pearce
  • Roger M. Francis
  • Louise Parker
Original Article


The Newcastle Thousand Families birth cohort dates from 1947; assessments have included height measurement at 22 and 50 years, when height loss was also assessed by self-report. A total of 388 attended for 50-year review of bone health, of whom 57 reported a median height loss of 2.5 cm, and 8 reported height loss of >3.5 cm. However, of 24 subjects for whom true height loss could be calculated, 7 had gained height, 9 were unchanged and only 8 had lost height since age 22 years. Self-report leads to over-reporting of height loss, and therefore should not be the sole measure of height loss. In clinical practice, objective confirmation of reported height loss should be undertaken, wherever possible, prior to further investigation.


Cohort Height loss Osteoporosis Self-report 


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Copyright information

© Clinical Rheumatology 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fraser Birrell
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mark S. Pearce
    • 1
  • Roger M. Francis
    • 1
  • Louise Parker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RheumatologyUniversity of Newcastle upon TyneFramlington PlaceUK

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