Self-reported everyday physical activities in older people with osteoporotic vertebral fractures: a systematic review and meta-analysis

U. A. Al-Sari, U. A. Al-Sari, J. H. Tobias, E. M. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Previous work has shown that patients with vertebral fractures do less physical activity. However, the association between vertebral fracture and different components of physical activity is unclear. Our results suggest that vertebral fracture (VF) is associated with a reduction in activities involving bending, ambulation, and daily living, regardless of age.

The aim of this study was to determine whether osteoporotic VF is associated with reduced self-reported everyday routine physical activity and/or ability (PAA).

A comprehensive search was undertaken using the databases of PubMed, Embase, Medline, Web of Science, and the “grey” literature from 1950 to the end of July 2016. Standardised search terms for VF and PAAs were used. Four categories of PAA were included: (1) bending ability, (2) ambulatory activities, (3) reaching arms above shoulder level, and (4) activities of daily living (ADLs). Strict inclusion and exclusion criteria were used, and only studies that adjusted for age were included. For the meta-analysis, pooled OR and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated using a random-effects model.

Eleven studies in total were identified which had investigated the associations between the prevalent VF and the selected PAAs and expressed these as ORs or RR. Women (six studies) with VF had a 64% increase in difficulty forward bending compared to those without VF. Women (nine studies) with VF had a 27% increase in difficulty doing ambulatory activities, while no association was observed for men (four studies). Women also have 73% (five studies), 127% (three studies), and 100% (four studies) increase in difficulty reaching arms above shoulder, shopping, and preparing meals, respectively.

Studies consistently show women with VF have reduced everyday activities, while much less research has been carried out in men. This information may be useful when designing interventions to improve physical function in people with osteoporotic VFs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-29
Number of pages11
JournalOsteoporosis International
Issue number1
Early online date3 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Activities of daily living
  • Ambulatory activities
  • Bending-related activities
  • Physical activity
  • Quality of life
  • Vertebral fracture


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