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01-05-2015 | Uitgave 5/2015

Quality of Life Research 5/2015

Health-related quality of life in women referred for bone density assessment: relationships with bone mineral density, fracture and co-morbidity

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 5/2015
Sally Wilson, Christopher A. Sharp, Michael W. J. Davie



To identify variables that might influence health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with and without a history of fracture, attending bone mineral density (BMD) assessment prior to diagnosis of osteoporosis.


This cross-sectional study included 312 newly referred postmenopausal women attending for a DXA scan, without a diagnosis of osteoporosis. Data were obtained from the medical history and the General Practitioner’s letter. HRQoL, using SF36 was scored using published algorithms with reference to an age-related population from England. Regression analyses were used to determine relationships between HRQoL and BMD, age, fracture status and co-morbidities.


For all patients, the age-related physical component summary (PCS) and mental component summary (MCS) scores were 46 ± 10 and 47 ± 10, respectively. Controlling for confounding variables, low BMD at the femoral neck was associated with worse PCS scores (p = 0.010) and MCS scores (p = 0.034) in patients without fracture. In patients with a history of fracture, this relationship was less evident, and younger age (p < 0.00), increasing BMI (p = 0.016) and number of co-morbidities (p = 0.042) were associated with reductions in PCS scores.


Patients referred for BMD assessment before a diagnosis of osteoporosis had reduced PCS scores. In patients without fracture, low BMD contributed to this reduction in health-related quality of life. Low PCS scores in patients with fracture were seen only in younger subjects with osteoporosis.

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