Vertebral compression fractures (VCF) are the hallmark of osteoporosis, yet two-thirds of all VCF remain undiagnosed and untreated. Both symptomatic and occult VCF are associated with considerable increases in morbidity and mortality, hospitalization rates, admissions to long-term care, and health care-related costs. These fractures increase the risk of future osteoporotic fractures, both vertebral and nonvertebral, independent of bone mineral density. Older adults have lower rates of diagnosis and treatment compared with younger patients, although clinical studies have shown the efficacy and safety of currently available therapies for osteoporosis in older adults are comparable with those in younger individuals.
Key words: vertebral compression fractures, osteoporosis, bone mineral density, antiresorptive therapy, anabolic agents.