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Men's vertebral fractures often undiagnosed.

MONTREAL -- Don't forget your male patients when considering the effects of osteoporosis on the spine, according to the results of an Australian study presented at the annual meeting of the International Bone and Mineral Society.

The investigators found that morphometric vertebral fractures in men go largely undiagnosed, even when the men themselves notice that they have lost height. These fractures are associated with an increased risk for having a poor quality of life.

As part of a cross-sectional study called the Geelong Osteoporosis Study (GOS), Julie Pasco, Ph.D., of the University of Melbourne and her colleagues investigated the incidence and impact of morphometric vertebral fractures on 1,148 men aged 20-93. Based on lateral scans of the spine, 54 men were found to have morphometric vertebral fractures, defined by the presence of moderate and severe wedge and biconcave or compression deformities resulting in at least a 25% reduction in any vertebral height and accompanying area. Among these 54 men, 94% were unaware of their fracture, although 59% had reported height loss.

A total of 991 of the 1,148 men completed a quality-of-life questionnaire. (The questionnaire was originally targeted at women with osteoporosis but was modified for men.) Among the 54 men with fractures, 42 (78%) had scores on the questionnaire that were indicative of a poor quality of life.

In contrast, only 433 of the 937 (46%) men without fractures who completed the questionnaire had scores indicative of a poor quality of life. The age-adjusted odds ratio for poor quality of life associated with having a morphometric vertebral fracture was 2.17.

Dr. Pasco and her colleagues concluded that "morphologic vertebral fractures ... are associated with a poor quality of life. Despite half of the fracture cases reporting height loss, morphometric vertebral fractures remain mostly undiagnosed."
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Title Annotation:Endocrinology
Author:Palkhivala, Alison
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2007
Words:297
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