University of Oulu

Oura, P., Paananen, M., Niinimäki, J. et al. Effects of Leisure-Time Physical Activity on Vertebral Dimensions in the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966. Sci Rep 6, 27844 (2016).

Effects of leisure-time physical activity on vertebral dimensions in the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966

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Author: Oura, Petteri1,2,3; Paananen, Markus1,2; Niinimäki, Jaakko1,3;
Organizations: 1Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Center for Life Course Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4LIKES—Research Center for Sport and Health Sciences, Jyväskylä, Finland
5Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Oulu Deaconess Institute, Oulu, Finland
6Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
7Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
8Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2016
Publish Date: 2021-11-24


Vertebral fractures are a common burden amongst elderly and late middle aged people. Vertebral cross-sectional area (CSA) is a major determinant of vertebral strength and thus associated with vertebral fracture risk. Previous studies suggest that physical activity affects vertebral CSA. We aimed to investigate the relationship between leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) from adolescence to middle age and vertebral dimensions in adulthood. We utilized the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966, of which 1188 subjects had records of LTPA at 14, 31 and 46 years, and had undergone lumbar magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at the mean age of 47 years. Using MRI data, we measured eight dimensions of the L4 vertebra. Socioeconomic status, smoking habits, height and weight were also recorded at 14, 31 and 46 years. We obtained lifetime LTPA (14–46 years of age) trajectories using latent class analysis, which resulted in three categories (active, moderately active, inactive) in both genders. Linear regression analysis was used to analyze the association between LTPA and vertebral CSA with adjustments for vertebral height, BMI, socioeconomic status and smoking. High lifetime LTPA was associated with larger vertebral CSA in women but not men. Further research is needed to investigate the factors behind the observed gender-related differences.

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Series: Scientific reports
ISSN: 2045-2322
ISSN-E: 2045-2322
ISSN-L: 2045-2322
Volume: 6
Article number: 27844
DOI: 10.1038/srep2784
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Copyright information: © 2016 The Authors. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit