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Risk of vertebral osteoporosis in post-menopausal women with alterations of the mandible

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Background: Previous studies have suggested that a thin or eroded cortex of the mandible detected on dental panoramic radiographs is associated with low vertebral bone mineral density (BMD) or osteoporosis. However, those studies did not estimate the multivariate-adjusted risk for low vertebral BMD or osteoporosis associated with alterations of the mandible.

Methods: BMD of the lumbar vertebrae (L2–L4) was compared among quartiles of cortical width and among three cortical shape categories in 450 post-menopausal women (mean age, 57.2 years), adjusted for potential confounders. The odds ratios for low BMD or osteoporosis according to cortical width and shape were also calculated.

Results: Significant associations were found between cortical width and shape, and vertebral BMD. The odds ratios for low vertebral BMD associated with the second, third and lowermost quartiles of cortical width were 1.71 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.96–3.05), 2.30 (95% CI, 1.29–4.11) and 5.43 (95% CI, 2.16–10.71), respectively, compared with the uppermost quartile. The odds ratios for osteoporosis according to cortical width category were similar to those for low BMD. The odds ratios for low BMD associated with mildly to moderately and severely eroded cortices were 3.85 (95% CI, 2.37–6.25) and 7.84 (95% CI, 2.57–23.90), respectively, compared with normal cortex. The odds ratios for osteoporosis associated with mildly to moderately and severely eroded cortices were 4.73 (95% CI, 2.54–8.80) and 14.73 (95% CI, 6.14–35.47), respectively.

Conclusions: Post-menopausal women with alterations of the mandible may have an increased risk for low vertebral BMD or osteoporosis.


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Volume 36, Issue 3March 2007
Pages: 125-186

British Institute of Radiology


  • ReceivedMarch 13,2006
  • RevisedMay 26,2006
  • AcceptedJune 19,2006
  • Published onlineJanuary 28,2014



This study was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (14571786, 16390616).