HealthDay News — Service in the U.S. Army or Marine Corps was associated with a greater risk for lumbar fractures than service in other branches of the military, study data indicate.

Andrew J. Schoenfeld, MD, from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso, and colleagues analyzed data from all individuals included in the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database who sustained lumbar spine fracture injuries from 2001 to 2010 to determine risk factors for this type of injury.

The overall incidence rate of lumbar fractures was 0.38 per 1,000 person-years, they reported in the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques. Data on race, rank, branch of military service, sex and age were obtained for all individuals identified with lumbar spine fractures and for the whole military population during the same time period.

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Significant predictors of lumbar spine fracture included male sex, white race, enlisted ranks, service in the Army and Marines and age. The highest rate of lumbar fractures (0.48 per 1,000 person-years) was seen with service in the Army. Those aged 20 to 24 years or older than 40 years were also found to be at increased risk.


  1. Schoenfeld AJ et al. Journal of Spine Disorders & Techniques. 2013; 26(4):207-2011.