Epidemiology of vertebral fractures in women

L. Joseph Melton, Stephen H. Kan, Mark A. Frye, Heinz W. Wahner, W. Michael O'fallon, B. Lawrence Riggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

786 Scopus citations


Vertebral fracture prevalence was assessed in an age-stratified random sample of Rochester, Minnesota women aged 50 years and over. Vertebral fractures, including wedge and concavity as well as compression fractures, were common and increased with age. The estimated incidence of new vertebral fractures also rose with age, reaching 29.6 per 1,000 person-years in women aged ≤85 years. The prevalence of one or more vertebral fractures also increased with declining bone mass, reaching 42% in women with spinal bone mineral density less than 0.6 g/cm2 by dual photon absorptiometry. Bone mass and age contributed independently to the risk of vertebral fracture, but "age" may reflect other manifestations of osteoporosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1000-1011
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1989


  • Cross-sectional studies
  • Osteoporosis
  • Risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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