Fewer than a quarter of new vertebral fractures are clinically diagnosed, yet they often cause symptoms. In a study of older men in the general population now published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, clinically undiagnosed vertebral fractures that were evident on x-rays were associated with higher likelihood of back pain and limited physical activity.
The findings build on similar results previously reported in older women and point to the need for more effective strategies to detect and prevent vertebral fractures.
"Preventing these fractures may reduce back pain and related disability in older men," wrote the authors.
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Journal of Bone and Mineral Research (2017). DOI: 10.1002/jbmr.3215