Clin Orthop Surg.  2021 Jun;13(2):207-215. 10.4055/cios20209.

Association between Osteoporotic Vertebral Compression Fractures and Age, Bone Mineral Density, and European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions in Korean Postmenopausal Women: A Nationwide Cross-sectional Observational Study

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, SMG-SNU Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 3‡ Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


The purpose of this study was to investigate the characteristics of osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (OVCFs) in Korean postmenopausal women and the association between OVCFs and clinical factors such as age, bone mineral density (BMD), and quality of life.
According to the population distribution in four regions in Korea, 1,281 postmenopausal female patients were recruited from nationwide orthopedic outpatient clinics. Radiologic, asymptomatic, and within 3 months of OVCF groups were analyzed based on age, fracture location, and prevalence according to BMD. In addition, BMD, T-score, body mass index, and European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) were investigated in the three groups, and the differences between groups were compared and analyzed.
The prevalence of radiologic OVCFs at the T11–L1 was 3.7 times higher in the 70s group (44.0%) than in the 50s group (11.9%). Femur and total hip BMD were significantly lower in patients with thoracolumbar junction fractures than in patients with L2–5 fractures, whereas no difference was observed in lumbar spine BMD. Of the three OVCF groups, the within 3 months of OVCF group had the lowest lumbar spine T-score of –2.445. The asymptomatic OVCF group also showed significantly lower lumbar spine T-score than did the group without radiologic OVCFs (p < 0.001). The EQ-5D showed a significant decrease in the radiologic OVCF group (p < 0.001) and within 3 months of OVCF group (p < 0.001).
The prevalence of OVCFs in the thoracolumbar junction rapidly increases with old age and low BMD in Korean postmenopausal women. Femur and total hip BMD are more predictive of thoracolumbar junction fractures than lumbar spine BMD. Patients with radiologic OVCFs had a significantly lower quality of life than no OVCF group. Therefore, this study shows it is important to treat and prevent osteoporosis before an OVCF occurs.


Postmenopausal osteoporosis; Compression fracture; Bone density; Quality of life
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