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The prevalence and radiological findings in 1347 elderly patients with scoliosis

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In order to determine the epidemiology of adult scoliosis in the elderly and to analyse the radiological parameters and symptoms related to adult scoliosis, we carried out a prospective cross-sectional radiological study on 1347 adult volunteers. There were 615 men and 732 women with a mean age of 73.3 years (60 to 94), and a mean Cobb angle of 7.55° (sd 5.95).

In our study, 478 subjects met the definition of scoliosis (Cobb angle ≥10°) showing a prevalence of 35.5%. There was a significant difference in the epidemiological distribution and prevalence between the age and gender groups. The older adults showed a larger prevalence and more severe scoliosis, more prominent in women (p = 0.004). Women were more affected by adult scoliosis and showed more linear correlation with age (p < 0.001). Symptoms were more severe in those with scoliosis than in the normal group, but were similar between the mild, moderate and severe scoliosis groups (p = 0.224) and between men and women (p = 0.231).

Adult scoliosis showed a significant relationship with lateral listhesis, vertebral rotation, lumbar hypolordosis, sagittal imbalance and a high level of the L4–5 disc (p < 0.0001, p < 0.0001, p = 0.002, p = 0.002, p < 0.0001 respectively). Lateral listhesis, lumbar hypolordosis and sagittal imbalance were related to symptoms (p < 0.0001, p = 0.001, p < 0.0001 respectively).

Correspondence should be sent to Professor S. W. Suh; e-mail: spine@korea.ac.kr

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