Body Mass Index in Adolescent Spinal Deformity: Comparison of Scheuermann's Kyphosis, Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis, and Normal Controls

Baron S. Lonner, Courtney S. Toombs, Qasim M. Husain, Paul Sponseller, Harry Shufflebarger, Suken A. Shah, Amer F. Samdani, Randal R. Betz, Patrick J. Cahill, Burt Yaszay, Peter O. Newton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Study Design: Prospective, multicenter study of Scheuermann's kyphosis (SK) and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) compared to a control group. Objectives: Compare body mass index (BMI) and Scoliosis Research Society Questionnaire-22 (SRS-22) scores among two diagnosis and one control group. Summary of Background Data: BMI has been reported as increased in SK patients; however, there are few recent data on this subject or comparing SK to AIS. Methods: Ninety-two SK patients (37 female, 55 male, average age 16 years), 1,051 AIS patients (814 female, 237 male, average age 15 years), and 380 adolescents without scoliosis (controls) were compared based on age, gender, race, height (m), weight (kg), BMI, and SRS-22 scores. An analysis of variance was used to test differences in BMI and SRS-22 scores between the groups and between males and females. Pearson correlations determined the relationship between AIS T5-T12 kyphosis and BMI, SK max kyphosis and BMI, and to determine the relationship between BMI and SRS-22 scores in each group. Results: More SK patients were "obese" and "overweight" (28% and 22%) compared to the AIS (6% and 9%) and Control groups (5.8% and 17.9%) (p <.001). More AIS patients were "underweight" (27%, SK: 13%, Control: 12.1%; p <.03). T5-T12 kyphosis was weakly correlated with BMI (r = 0.17), whereas max kyphosis correlated well with BMI (r = 0.39, p <.00). The SK group had significantly lower (worse) SRS-22 scores than AIS patients in the Pain (3.97 vs. 4.10), Self-Image (2.86 vs. 3.35), Mental Health (3.72 vs. 4.02), and Total Score domains (3.62 vs. 3.92, p <.001). Increased pain scores were weakly correlated with decreasing BMI in all three groups. Conclusions: SK patients are at increased risk for elevated BMI and worse SRS-22 scores, indicating that they may suffer from delayed diagnosis and increased surgical complications. AIS patients are at increased risk for issues related to low BMI and should also be monitored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-326
Number of pages9
JournalSpine deformity
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
  • Body mass index
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Scheuermann's kyphosis
  • Spinal deformity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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