Introduction Osteoporosis is a common condition, especially affecting the older female population. The ability to predict loss of lumbar height using simple anatomical measurements would be a useful tool.
Methods Forty subjects were recruited. Mean age was 72 years. Arm span (AS) and the costo-iliac distance (CID) were measured. The CID/AS ratio was calculated. The L-1-L-4 vertebral height of each patient was obtained from dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA).
Results There was a statistically significant correlation between the lumbar height and CID/AS ratio (R-2 = 0.79, p < 0.001).
Conclusion The CID/AS ratio may be a useful bedside test in identifying loss of lumbar vertebral height.