We studied the vertebral fracture prevalence on low-dose chest computed tomography (CT) in male lung cancer screening participants and the association of fractures and bone density with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and smoking. 1140 male current and former smokers with ≥16.5 packyears from the NELSON lung cancer screening trial were included. Age, body mass index, and smoking status were registered. CT scans and pulmonary function tests were obtained on the same day. On CT, vertebral fractures and bone density were measured. The cohort had a mean age of 62.5 years (standard deviation 5.2) old; 531 (46.6%) had quit smoking; and 437 (38.3%) had COPD. Of the group, 100 (8.8%) participants had a vertebral fracture. Fracture prevalence was higher in current compared to former smokers (11.3% versus 5.8%, p=0.001), but similar in participants with COPD compared to those without (9.6% versus 8.3%, p=0.430). The multivariable adjusted odds ratio for fracture presence was 1.79 (95% CI: 1.13-2.84) in current smokers and 1.08 (95% CI: 0.69-1.67) in COPD participants. Bone density was lower in current compared to former smokers (103.2HU versus 108.7HU, p=0.006) and in participants with COPD compared to those without [100.7 Hounsfield Units (HU) versus 108.9HU, p<0.001]. In multivariate analysis, smoking status and COPD status were independently associated with bone density, corrected for age and body mass index. In conclusion, our study shows that lung cancer screening participants have a substantial vertebral fracture burden. Fractures are more common in current smokers, who also have lower bone density. We could not confirm that COPD is independently associated with vertebral fractures.

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doi.org/10.1002/jbmr.2248, hdl.handle.net/1765/91563
Journal of Bone and Mineral Research
Department of Public Health