The Effect of Aging on Cervical Parameters in a Normative North American Population

Justin Iorio, Virginie Lafage, Renaud Lafage, Jensen K. Henry, Dan Stein, Lawrence G. Lenke, Munish Gupta, Michael P. Kelly, Brenda Sides, Han Jo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Study Design: Retrospective cohort study. Objectives: To investigate age-based changes in cervical alignment parameters in an asymptomatic population. Methods: Retrospective review of a prospective study of 118 asymptomatic subjects who underwent biplanar imaging with 3-dimensional capabilities. Demographic and health-related quality of life data was collected prior to imaging. Patients were stratified into 5 age groups: <35 years, 35-44 years, 45-54 years, 55-64 years, and ≥65 years. Radiographic measurements of the cervical spine and spinopelvic parameters were compared between age groups. The normal distribution of parameters was assessed followed by analysis of variance for comparison of variance between age groups. Results: C2-C7 lordosis, C0-C7 lordosis, and T1 slope demonstrated significant increases with age. C0-C7 lordosis was significantly less in subjects <35 years compared with ≥55 years. Significant differences in T1 slope were identified in patients <35 versus ≥65, 35-44 versus ≥65, and 45-54 versus ≥65 years. T1 slope demonstrated a positive correlation with age. Horizontal gaze parameters did not change linearly with age and mean averages of all age groups were within 10° of one another. Cervical kyphosis was present in approximately half of subjects who were <55 compared with approximately 10% of subjects ≥55 years. Differences in pelvic tilt, pelvic incidence-lumbar lordosis, and C7-S1 sagittal vertical axis were identified with age. Conclusions: C0-C7 lordosis, C2-C7 lordosis, and T1 slope demonstrate age-based changes while other cervical and horizontal gaze parameters remain relatively constant with age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-715
Number of pages7
JournalGlobal Spine Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


  • age-based alignment
  • asymptomatic population
  • cervical alignment
  • horizontal gaze


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