Vertebral fractures are the most common osteoporotic fracture. Vertebral fractures are frequently caused by routine activities such as bending forward, twisting and/or lifting light objects. Falls are also associated with vertebral fractures.
The prevalence (the number of fractures at any one time in a community) of vertebral fractures is similar in men and women. In men this is thought to be occupation associated. However the incidence (number of new fractures) of vertebral fracture is about one-third higher in women than men between 50-60 years, and doubles after age 70.
Of particular importance, a vertebral fracture occurs every 22 seconds worldwide with 20 – 25% of Caucasian women and men over 50 years having a prevalent vertebral fracture. The occurrence of vertebral fractures increases with age, such that an estimated 50% of women over 80 years has a prevalent vertebral fracture.