Relationship between quantitative ultrasound parameters at the calcaneus and health-related quality of life in postmenopausal Italian women: The FEDRO study

Stefano Gonnelli, C. Caffarelli, L. Tanzilli, A. Cadirni, G. Guglielmi, S. Rossi, R. Nuti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Reduced bone mineral density has been reported to adversely affect health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in postmenopausal women without vertebral fracture. To date, no data exist in the literature about any possible influences of quantitative ultrasonographic (QUS) parameters on HRQoL. This study aimed to assess whether QUS parameters at the calcaneus may be associated with HRQoL. In 1,812 ambulatory postmenopausal women aged 60 years or over, we measured HRQoL by the Quality of Life Questionnaire of the European Foundation for Osteoporosis (QUALEFFO-41) and stiffness index using QUS at the calcaneus. By grouping the 1,812 women on the basis of stiffness index, a highly significant (p <0.001) difference was found for both total QUALEFFO and five domains of the QUALEFFO, whereas for the Pain and Mental Function domains the significance was modest. Stiffness was inversely associated (p <0.01) with total QUALEFFO and with all QUALEFFO domains. In stepwise multiple logistic regression analysis stiffness values were negatively associated with both QUALEFFO total score and all domains of the QUALEFFO-41. The presence of concomitant diseases was associated with a worsening of HRQoL in all domains of the QUALEFFO, whereas age was associated with the three domains of physical function but not with the Pain and Mental Function domains. Our study suggests that in postmenopausal women there is a close relationship between bone status measured by QUS at the calcaneus and quality of life assessed by the QUALEFFO. Therefore, QUS at the calcaneus may have a role in early strategies to prevent HRQoL impairment and osteoporosis exacerbation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-494
Number of pages8
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013



  • Health-related quality of life
  • Postmenopausal women
  • Quantitative ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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