The prevalence of radiographic cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) in 1,562 Japanese from a population-based cohort was 1.9 %. The presence of OPLL showed a significant association with the femoral neck bone mineral density (BMD), presence of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) and plasma pentosidine levels. Only one new case of radiographic OPLL was detected, but OPLL progressed in all affected subjects. Introduction: The purpose of this study was to clarify the prevalence and progression of radiographic OPLL and the associated factors, using the population-based cohort Research on Osteoarthritis/osteoporosis Against Disability (ROAD). Methods: In the ROAD study, 1,690 participants underwent X-ray examination of the entire spine and both knees. Radiographic OPLL, lumbar spondylosis, knee osteoarthritis and DISH were diagnosed by a single, well-experienced orthopaedic surgeon. An interviewer-administered questionnaire and tests for anthropometric measurements were administered, and the BMDs of the lumbar spine and proximal femur were determined. A new OPLL case was considered if heterotopic ossification in the posterior longitudinal ligament was absent at baseline but present during follow-up. Progression was defined as an increase in the maximum length or width of the ossification at follow-up over that at baseline. Results: Radiographic OPLL was detected in 30 (17 men, 13 women) of 1,562 individuals who underwent X-ray examination of the cervical spine (prevalence = 1.9 %). Its prevalence was significantly higher in men than in women (p = 0.007), but no association with age was observed. In a logistic regression analysis, OPLL showed a significant association with the femoral neck BMD, presence of DISH and plasma pentosidine levels. Only one new case of radiographic OPLL was detected, but OPLL progressed in all affected subjects. Conclusion: This population-based study clarified the prevalence of radiographic OPLL in the Japanese population as well as its progression. OPLL showed significant association with plasma pentosidine levels, BMD and DISH.
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