BMI and magnitude of scoliosis at presentation to a specialty clinic

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE: To determine whether curve magnitude of scoliosis at presentation correlates with BMI. METHODS: Retrospective chart review of 180 patients presenting with scoliosis was performed. Curve pattern and magnitude, Risser status, occurrence of surgery, zip code, height and weight, race, and insurance status were recorded. Relationships were examined by Spearman rank and Pearson correlations, and logistic regression analysis was used to determine odds ratios. RESULTS: For both thoracic and lumbar curve patterns, there was a correlation between BMI and curve magnitude. Spearman rank correlation was 0.19 for thoracic (P = .03) and 0.24 for lumbar curves (P = .02). Overweight or obese patients were not more likely, however, to present with curves at higher risk of progression or more likely to have surgical intervention. With respect to potential confounding socioeconomic variables, thoracic curve magnitude was negatively correlated with median family income (Spearman rank correlation -0.17, P = .04). Curve magnitude was not correlated with race, distance, or insurance payer. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with high BMI and scoliosis are more likely to present with larger curves, but not more likely to require surgery. This is concerning because of the national trend of increasing childhood obesity and because scoliosis treatment may be more complicated in larger curves. Socioeconomic factors may also be barriers to access.
  • Published In

  • Pediatrics  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Gilbert SR; Savage AJ; Whitesell R; Conklin MJ; Fineberg NS
  • Start Page

  • e1417
  • End Page

  • e1424
  • Volume

  • 135
  • Issue

  • 6