Prevalence and sex difference of lumbar disc space narrowing in elderly chinese men and women: osteoporotic fractures in men (Hong Kong) and osteoporotic fractures in women (Hong Kong) studies

Yi-Xiang J Wang, James F Griffith, Xian-Jun Zeng, Min Deng, Anthony W L Kwok, Jason C S Leung, Anil T Ahuja, Timothy Kwok, Ping Chung Leung
Arthritis and Rheumatism 2013, 65 (4): 1004-10

OBJECTIVE: Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (Hong Kong) and Osteoporotic Fractures in Women (Hong Kong) represent the first large-scale prospective population-based studies on bone health in elderly (age≥65 years) Chinese men (n=2,000) and women (n=2,000). We undertook the current study to investigate the prevalence of lumbar disc space narrowing in these subjects, and to identify the potential relationship between disc space narrowing and sex, bone mineral density (BMD), and other demographic and clinical data.

METHODS: On lumbar lateral radiographs, L1/L2-L4/L5 disc space was classified into 4 categories: 0=normal; 1=mild narrowing; 2=moderate narrowing; 3=severe narrowing. We compared demographic and clinical data between subjects with and those without total disc space narrowing scores≥3.

RESULTS: Disc space narrowing was more common in elderly women than in elderly men. The mean±SD disc space narrowing score for the 4 discs was 2.71±2.21 for men and 3.08±2.50 for women (P<0.0001). For the 3 age groups of 65-69 years, 70-79 years, and ≥80 years, the average disc space narrowing score increased with increasing age in both men and women, and to a greater degree in women than in men. The average disc space narrowing score differences between women and men were 0.12, 0.40, and 0.90, respectively, in the 3 age groups. For both men and women, a disc space narrowing score≥3 was associated with older age, higher spine and hip BMD, low back pain, and restricted leg mobility.

CONCLUSION: The prevalence and severity of disc space narrowing are higher in elderly women than in elderly men. With increasing age, disc space narrowing progresses at a greater rate in women than in men. A disc space narrowing score≥3 is associated with higher spine and hip BMD.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"