University of Oulu

Petteri Oura, Juho-Antti Junno, Elsi Autio, Jaro Karppinen, Jaakko Niinimäki, Baseline anthropometric indices predict change in vertebral size in early adulthood – A 10-year follow-up MRI study, Bone, Volume 138, 2020, 115506, ISSN 8756-3282,

Baseline anthropometric indices predict change in vertebral size in early adulthood : a 10-year follow-up MRI study

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Author: Oura, Petteri1,2,3; Junno, Juho-Antti1,4,5,6; Autio, Elsi1,2,3;
Organizations: 1Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Center for Life Course Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
7Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Oulu, Finland
8Department of Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-06-27


The vertebral cross-sectional area (CSA) has an independent effect on vertebral strength. Recent evidence has shown that vertebral dimensions significantly increase in the third decade of life, and that lifestyle factors such as body size and composition are clearly associated with vertebral CSA. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that general anthropometric traits (stature, total body mass, lean body mass, fat mass, body mass index, waist circumference), each objectively measured at baseline, predict the change in vertebral CSA over the subsequent decade. A representative sample of young Northern Finnish adults was used (n = 371) with repeated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans from ~20 and ~30 years (baseline and follow-up, respectively). Vertebral CSA was measured from the MRI scans with high reliability and low measurement error. The statistical analysis was performed using linear regression models adjusted for sex and exact length of MRI interval. According to the regression models, in descending order of effect size, lean body mass (standardized beta coefficient 0.243 [95% confidence interval 0.065—0.420]), total body mass (0.158 [0.043—0.273]), body mass index (0.125 [0.026—0.224]), waist circumference (0.119 [0.010—0.228]), and fat mass (0.104 [0.004—0.205]) were positively and significantly associated with CSA gain over the follow-up, whereas stature (0.079 [−0.066—0.224]) was not associated with CSA change. The results of this study suggest that anthropometric indices may be used for estimating subsequent change in vertebral size. In particular, greater lean body mass seems to be beneficial for vertebral size and thus potentially also for vertebral strength. Future studies should aim to replicate these associations in a dataset with longitudinal anthropometric trajectories and identify the potential common factors that influence both anthropometric traits and vertebral CSA gain.

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Series: Bone
ISSN: 8756-3282
ISSN-E: 8756-3282
ISSN-L: 8756-3282
Volume: 138
Article number: 115506
DOI: 10.1016/j.bone.2020.115506
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3126 Surgery, anesthesiology, intensive care, radiology
Funding: NFBC1986 has received funding from EU QLG1-CT-2000–01643 (EUROBLCS) [Grant No. E51560], NorFA [Grant No. 731, 20056, 30167], USA/NIHH 2000 G DF682 [Grant No. 50945].
Copyright information: © 2020 Elsevier Inc. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license