Causes of Spinal Compression Fractures
Who Is at Highest Risk for Spinal Compression Fractures?
Two groups of people are at highest risk for spinal compression fractures:
- People with the bone-weakening disease osteoporosis.
- People with cancer that has spread to their bones.
If you have been diagnosed with certain kinds of cancer -- including multiple myeloma and lymphoma -- your doctor may monitor you for compression fractures. However, sometimes a spinal fracture may be the first indication of cancer.
But if you have osteoporosis, you may not even know it.
Here are the leading risk factors for osteoporosis:
- Race: White and Asian women have the greatest risk.
- Age: The risk rises rapidly in women over 50 and increases with age.
Weight: Thin women are at higher risk.
- Early Menopause: Women who went through menopause before age 50 have higher risk.
- Smokers: People who smoke lose bone thickness faster than nonsmokers.
Statistically, among people over age 50, osteoporosis strikes:
- 20% of white and Asian women
- 10% of Hispanic women
- 5% of black women
- 5% of men
And among those who develop compression fractures, studies indicate they face a 23% increase in mortality.