Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Single Bone Mineral Density Test Predicts 'Silent' Spinal Fractures Years Later

Date:
December 19, 2007
Source:
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Summary:
A single bone mineral density test given 15 years earlier predicted a woman's risk of developing fractures to her spine over time, according to a new study. The study also found that more than half of the women with low BMD and existing spinal fractures developed new fractures, raising concerns about the impact of so-called "silent" fractures to the spine.

A single bone mineral density (BMD) test given 15 years earlier predicted a woman's risk of developing fractures to her spine over time, according to the largest and longest prospective study of osteoporosis. The study was led by investigators at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, also found that women who had a spinal fracture at the start of the study were four times more likely to have another fracture. In fact, more than half of the women with low BMD and existing spinal fractures developed new fractures over the 15-year study period, raising concerns about the impact of so-called "silent" fractures to the spine.

"Spinal fractures are the hallmark of osteoporosis, but one of the problems with diagnosing them is that they often have no symptoms," said Jane Cauley, Dr.P.H., professor of epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. "Many women may be walking around with multiple fractures and not even know it. Our study raises concerns about the impact of these fractures on quality of life by putting women at risk for subsequent fractures, but it also provides evidence that a simple and non-invasive bone density test can help identify those at risk."

The findings are based on 2,300 women over the age of 65 enrolled in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures (SOF), a longitudinal, multi-site study initiated in 1986 to learn more about the risk factors and causes of osteoporosis. For the current study, investigators from five institutions took lateral radiographs of the thoracic and lumbar spines of research participants and measured their BMD and body weight. Researchers found that by year 15 of the study, 18 percent of the women had experienced spinal fractures. They also found that 25 percent of women who began the study with low BMD developed spine fractures, compared to only nine percent of women with normal BMD.

According to Dr. Cauley, the study's results demonstrate the importance of BMD testing for women over the age of 50. About 700,000 spinal fractures occur each year in women in this age group, and 75 percent of these fractures occur without symptoms. Spinal fractures result in chronic back pain and increased risk of other fractures, including those in the hip.

"Women don't have to end up with dowager's hump, the hallmark of osteoporosis," said Dr. Cauley. Dowager's hump indicates that a woman has endured multiple spine fractures. "Osteoporosis is not an inevitable consequence of aging. Under-diagnosis remains a major problem. There are several effective treatments for osteoporosis that can prevent subsequent fractures, so it is vitally important to recognize these fractures with repeat spine films over time."

Based on the results of the study, Dr. Cauley and colleagues are developing a risk model to help physicians better identify women who are more likely to have a silent spine fracture and who may benefit from treatment.

Osteoporosis is the most common type of bone disease, affecting an estimated 10 million Americans. Researchers estimate that about one out of five American women over the age of 50 have osteoporosis.

This research published in the Dec. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Journal reference: JAMA. 2007;298(23):2761-2767

Co-authors of the study include Marc C. Hochberg, M.D., University of Maryland Medical Center; Li-Yung Lui, California Pacific Medical Center; Lisa Palermo, Steven R. Cummings and Michael Nevitt, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco; Kristine Ensrud, M.D., Minneapolis VA Medical Center; and Teresa Hillier, M.D., Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research. The study is funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Single Bone Mineral Density Test Predicts 'Silent' Spinal Fractures Years Later." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071218192053.htm>.
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. (2007, December 19). Single Bone Mineral Density Test Predicts 'Silent' Spinal Fractures Years Later. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071218192053.htm
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Single Bone Mineral Density Test Predicts 'Silent' Spinal Fractures Years Later." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071218192053.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins