Effect of vertebral fractures on function, quality of life and hospitalisation the AGES-Reykjavik study

Kristin Siggeirsdottir*, Thor Aspelund, Brynjolfur Y. Jonsson, Brynjolfur Mogensen, Lenore J. Launer, Tamara B. Harris, Gunnar Sigurdsson, Vilmundur Gudnason

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: understanding the determinants of health burden after a fracture in ageing populations is important.Objective: assess the effect of clinical vertebral and other osteoporotic fractures on function and the subsequent risk of hospitalisation. Design: individuals from the prospective population-based cohort study Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility (AGES)-Reykjavik study were examined between 2002 and 2006 and followed up for 5.4 years. Subjects: a total of 5,764 individuals, 57.7% women, born 1907-35, mean age 77. Method: four groups with a verified fracture status were used; vertebral fractures, other osteoporotic fractures excluding vertebral, non-osteoporotic fractures and not-fractured were compared and analysed for the effect on mobility, strength, QoL, ADL, co-morbidity and hospitalisation. Results: worst performance on functional tests was in the vertebral fracture group for women (P < 0.0001) and the other osteoporotic fractures group for men (P < 0.05). Both vertebral and other osteoporotic fractures, showed an increased risk of hospitalisation, HR = 1.4 (95% CI: 1.3-1.7) and 1.2 (95% CI: 1.1-1.2) respectively (P < 0.0001). Individuals with vertebral fractures had 50% (P < 0.0001) longer hospitalisation than not-fractured and 33% (P < 0.002) longer than the other osteoporotic fractures group.Conclusion: individuals with a history of clinical vertebral fracture seem to carry the greatest health burden compared with other fracture groups, emphasising the attention which should be given to those individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberafs003
Pages (from-to)351-357
Number of pages7
JournalAge and Ageing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, USA contract N01-AG-12100, the National Institute on Aging Intramural Research Program, Hjartavernd (The Icelandic Heart Association) and the Althingi (The Icelandic Parliament).

Other keywords

  • ADL
  • Elderly
  • Health burden
  • Mobility
  • Osteoporotic fracture
  • Quality of life
  • Strength
  • Vertebral fracture


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