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Scoliosis Prevalence Increases With Age

Last Updated: April 28, 2011.

The prevalence of scoliosis increases with advancing age, with a higher prevalence in whites, according to a study published in the April 20 issue of Spine.

THURSDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of scoliosis increases with advancing age, with a higher prevalence in whites, according to a study published in the April 20 issue of Spine.

Khaled M. Kebaish, M.D., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues examined the prevalence of lumbar scoliosis in adults aged 40 years or older; the association between prevalence of lumbar scoliosis and age, race, and gender; and whether these factors affect curve severity. The presence of scoliosis, defined by a curvature greater than or equal to 11.0 degrees, was ascertained by digitally measuring Cobb angles using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry lumbar spine images of 2,973 patients without a history of previous lumbar spinal surgery.

The investigators identified scoliosis in 263 individuals. A higher prevalence of scoliosis was related to age (40 to 50 years old, 3.14 percent; ≥90 years old, 50 percent), and varied among races (11.11 percent in whites, 6.49 percent in African-Americans). There was no association between the prevalence of scoliosis and gender. Curve severity was mild in most patients (80.6 percent), with no variation due to gender or age. African-Americans were more likely than other races to have mild curves (94.3 percent).

"The prevalence of scoliosis in our patients ≥40 years old was 8.85 percent and was associated with age and race, but not with gender. Most curves in our population were mild; curve severity was associated with race but not with age or gender," the authors write.

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