INTRODUCTION: Despite the fact that lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is one of the most commonly diagnosed and treated pathologic conditions affecting the spine, very little is known about the epidemiology of LSS in the general population. We evaluated the prevalence of LSS observed on mobile MRI in a community‐based sample.
METHODS: From a community‐based cohort, ROAD (Research on Osteoarthritis Against Disability), 1,011participants (335 men and 676 women, mean age: 66.3 ± years old) were enrolled, and 985 participants (with the exception of 26 patient who had cardiac pacemaker or other problems) underwent MRI of the spine. Clinical data was taken by well‐experienced orthopaedic surgeons. MRI images were evaluated in a blinded fashion with respect to clinical data, which included the ankle‐brachial index. Finally the diagnosis of LSS was confirmed by both clinical and MRI evaluation.
RESULTS: The diagnosis of LSS was confirmed in 94 subjects. Prevalence of LSS was 9.3% overall, 10.1% among men, and 8.9% among women. We divided the sample to five age groups: less than 50, 50 to 59, 60 to 69, 70 to 79, and over 80 years. The overall prevalence of LSS increased with age from 1.5 % in those patients aged less than 50, to 12.3% in those aged over 80 years. A correlation of R2=0.03 p < 0.01 was found between age and prevalence of LSS. The correlation was stronger in women (R2=0.04 p < 0.01) than in men (R2=0.01 p = 0.25). Using multiple logistic regression model, we examined the association among LSS and sex, age, body mass index. Among the demographic variables, age was only significant predictor of LSS (Odds ratio: 1.04, 95%CI: 1.02‐1.05).In conclusion, The prevalence of LSS in a community‐based sample was characterized. The prevalence of LSS was associated with age.