Physical Function in Older Men with Hyperkyphosis

Wendy B. Katzman, Stephanie L. Harrison, Howard A. Fink, Lynn M. Marshall, Eric Orwoll, Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, Peggy M. Cawthon, Deborah M. Kado

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41 Scopus citations


Background. Age-related hyperkyphosis has been associated with poor physical function and is a well-established predictor of adverse health outcomes in older women, but its impact on health in older men is less well understood. Methods. We conducted a cross-sectional study to evaluate the association of hyperkyphosis and physical function in 2,363 men, aged 71-98 (M = 79) from the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study. Kyphosis was measured using the Rancho Bernardo Study block method. Measurements of grip strength and lower extremity function, including gait speed over 6 m, narrow walk (measure of dynamic balance), repeated chair stands ability and time, and lower extremity power (Nottingham Power Rig) were included separately as primary outcomes. We investigated associations of kyphosis and each outcome in age-adjusted and multivariable linear or logistic regression models, controlling for age, clinic, education, race, bone mineral density, height, weight, diabetes, and physical activity. Results. In multivariate linear regression, we observed a dose-related response of worse scores on each lower extremity physical function test as number of blocks increased, p for trend ≤.001. Using a cutoff of ≥4 blocks, 20% (N = 469) of men were characterized with hyperkyphosis. In multivariate logistic regression, men with hyperkyphosis had increased odds (range 1.5-1.8) of being in the worst quartile of performing lower extremity physical function tasks (p <. 001 for each outcome). Kyphosis was not associated with grip strength in any multivariate analysis. Conclusions. Hyperkyphosis is associated with impaired lower extremity physical function in older men. Further studies are needed to determine the direction of causality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-640
Number of pages6
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015

Bibliographical note

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© 2014 © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:


  • Hyperkyphosis
  • Kyphosis
  • Normative aging
  • Physical function
  • Physical performance


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