Height reduction in middle-aged and elderly women. Estimating body height using spinomalleolar distance.
Height reduction in middle-aged and elderly female patients was calculated with a formula based on actual height and spinomalleolar distance in young female volunteers. A formula was obtained from the linear regression of actual height and spinomalleolar distance in 151 young female volunteers, (age range, 20-39 years old). In 131 middle-aged and elderly female patients (age range, 50-83 years old), measurement of bone mineral density (BMD) in three sites and thoracic and lumbar vertebral X-rays were performed. Height reduction was determined from the measured height and the estimated height calculated by the regression equation. We investigated the correlation between height reduction and vertebral fracture, age, BMD, and clinical diagnosis. The formula for spinomalleolar distance (x) and measured body height (y) in young women was y = 1.41x + 47.28 (r = 0.862, p<0.0001). A significant correlation was found between height reduction and age (non-vertebral fracture group: r = -0.617, p<0.0001; vertebral fracture group: r = -0.699, p<0.0001). Height reduction in the group diagnosed with osteoporosis was larger than that in the normal or osteopenic groups. The cut-off value of height reduction for the diagnosis of the osteoporosis was -5.6 cm. The initial body height of middle-aged and elderly female patients can be estimated using spinomalleolar distance. In addition, height reduction may be helpful in the diagnosis of osteoporosis.