Risk of Pneumonia After Vertebral Compression Fracture in Women With Low Bone Density: A Population-Based Study

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Study Design.

Retrospective large population-based study.


The aim of this study is to elucidate the association between vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) and pneumonia.

Summary of Background Data.

VCF is known to be associated with impaired pulmonary function. However, the risk of developing pneumonia after new-onset VCF has not been evaluated.


The data source was the National Health Screening Program Cohort, a population-based sample cohort of national health screening enrolees. Elderly women with low bone density identified during the life transition period health check-up were target population. Patients with newly diagnosed isolated VCF after the health check-up except those with cervical VCF were included as exposure group. Matched individuals still free of any type of VCF from the same population were included as control group with case/control ratio 3:1. The time to first occurrence of pneumonia were analyzed with Cox-regression analysis.


From the target population (N = 24,773), we matched 867 patients exposed to new-onset isolated VCFs with 2601 controls. In a multivariable Cox-regression analysis, isolated VCF was identified as an independent risk factor for development of a pneumonia (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.48; 95% confidence interval 1.14–1.91). Among the subtypes of VCF, thoracic/thoracolumbar VCF was independently associated with increased risk of pneumonia (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.13; 95% confidence interval 1.47–3.08).


Isolated VCF, especially those involving thoracic region, was associated with increased risk of pneumonia.


Level of Evidence: 4

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