University of Oulu

Oura, P., Nurkkala, M., Auvinen, J., Niinimäki, J., Karppinen, J., & Junno, J.-A. (2019). The Association of Body Size, Shape and Composition with Vertebral Size in Midlife – The Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 Study. Scientific Reports, 9(1).

The association of body size, shape and composition with vertebral size in midlife : the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 Study

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Author: Oura, Petteri1,2,3; Nurkkala, Marjukka1,2,4; Auvinen, Juha1,2;
Organizations: 1Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, FI-90014, Oulu, Finland
2Center for Life Course Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, FI-90014, Oulu, Finland
3Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, FI-90014, Oulu, Finland
4Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Oulu Deaconess Institute, P.O. Box 365, FI-90101, Oulu, Finland
5Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Aapistie 1, FI-90220, Oulu, Finland
6Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, FI-90014, Oulu, Finland
7Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, FI-90014, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-09-24


Small vertebral size increases the risk of osteoporotic vertebral fractures. Obese individuals have larger vertebral size and potentially lower fracture risk than lean individuals, but scarce data exist on the association between vertebral size and anthropometric measures beyond height, weight, and body mass index (BMI). Here, we evaluated several anthropometric measures (height, weight, BMI, waist circumference, hip circumference, waist-to-hip ratio [WHR], waist-to-height ratio [WHtR], fat mass [FM], lean body mass [LBM], percentage FM [%FM], percentage LBM [%LBM]) as predictors of vertebral cross-sectional area (CSA). We used a representative sample from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 (n = 1087), with anthropometric measurements from the ages of 31 and 46, bioimpedance analysis from the age of 46, and lumbar magnetic resonance imaging from the age of 46 years. In our data, height and LBM correlated most strongly with vertebral CSA among both sexes (0.469 ≤ r ≤ 0.514), while WHR, WHtR, %FM, and %LBM had the weakest correlations with vertebral CSA (|r| ≤ 0.114). We conclude that height and LBM have the highest, yet only moderate correlations with vertebral size. High absolute LBM, rather than FM or abdominal mass accumulation, correlates with large vertebral size and thus potentially also with lower osteoporotic vertebral fracture risk.

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Series: Scientific reports
ISSN: 2045-2322
ISSN-E: 2045-2322
ISSN-L: 2045-2322
Volume: 9
Article number: 3944
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-40880-4
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3126 Surgery, anesthesiology, intensive care, radiology
Funding: NFBC1966 received financial support from the University of Oulu (Grant no. 65354, 24000692), Oulu University Hospital (Grant no. 2/97, 8/97, 24301140), the Finnish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs (Grant no. 23/251/97, 160/97, 190/97), the National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland (Grant no. 54121), the Regional Institute of Occupational Health, Oulu, Finland (Grant no. 50621, 54231), and the European Regional Development Fund (Grant no. 539/2010 A31592). P.O. received financial support from the Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation (Signe och Ane Gyllenbergs stiftelse), the Finnish Foundation for Nutrition Research (Ravitsemuksen tutkimussäätiö), the Vappu Uuspää Foundation (Vappu Uuspään säätiö), and the Päivikki and Sakari Sohlberg Foundation (Päivikki ja Sakari Sohlbergin säätiö).
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