Postmenopausal Anthropometric Relationship Between Arm Span and Height in Osteoporosis

  • Demet Ofluoglu


Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder characterized by compromised bone strength predisposing a person to an increased of risk fracture. The most frequently observed osteoporotic fracture is a vertebral fracture, resulting in vertebral deformities. In the aging population and especially osteoporotic women, changes in body composition and some anthropometric measurements have been noted. Loss of height increased with age and is frequent in middle-aged women. It is caused by decreasing height of the intervertebral discs and joint cartilage, less pronounced foot arches and postural changes. Another important cause of the age-related height loss is the reduction in vertebral height due to osteoporotic vertebral fractures and structural changes, these being more frequent in women. Arm span is recommended as an acceptable measure for height in clinical situations where it is difficult to measure standing height limited by contractures, fractures, scoliosis, amputation, quadriplegia, paraplegia, coma, or existing osteoporotic fractures. Arm span is a valid measure of height in young and middle-aged adults. Arm span measurements can be used in estimation of youth height and age related loss in stature. Measurement of height loss is a good clinical indicator of vertebral fracture. Greater than 6 cm height loss can be a finding for osteoporotic vertebral fractures, therefore a spinal X-ray should be obtained. The sensitivity and specificity of the arm span – height differences for having osteoporosis is high. Therefore, arm span – height differences can be used for the initial screening of vertebral deformities in postmenopausal women. This chapter discusses the relationship between height and arm span differences in postmenopausal osteoporotic women.


Arthritis Depression Estrogen Osteoporosis Glucocorticoid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Arm span


Arm span – Height Differences


Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry


Forced expiratory volume in one second


Forced Vital Capacity


Standard deviation


Vertebral deformity


World Health Organization



Thanks to Professor Abe and coauthors for sharing some of their data about arm span and height in the study cited earlier and thanks to the Editor of Journal of APJCN for giving permission to show some figures of the study by Rabe et al. in the chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationBaskent University School of MedicineAltunizade/IstanbulTurkey

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