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The association between physical activity and vertebral dimension change in early adulthood – The Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 study

Elsi Autio 1 2 3Petteri Oura 1 2 3Jaro Karppinen 2 3 4Markus Paananen 2 3Juho-Antti Junno 5 6 7Jaakko Niinimäki 1 3 8

Bone Rep. 2021 Apr 9;14:101060.doi: 10.1016/j.bonr.2021.101060. eCollection 2021 Jun.


Small vertebral size is a well-known risk factor for vertebral fractures. To help understanding the factors behind vertebral size, we aimed to investigate whether physical activity and participation in high-impact exercise are associated with the growth rate of the vertebral cross-sectional area (CSA) among young adults. To conduct our study, we utilized the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 as our study population (n = 375). Questionnaire data about physical activity was obtained at 16, 18 and 19 years of age and lumbar magnetic resonance imaging scans at two timepoints, 20 and 30 years of age. We used generalized estimating equation (GEE) models to conduct the analyses. We did not find any statistically significant associations between vertebral CSA, physical activity, and high-impact exercise in our study sample. We conclude that neither physical activity nor high-impact sports seem to influence the change in vertebral CSA among young adults.