Data are scarce on the impact of vertebral fractures (VFX) on utility. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of prevalent and incident VFX on utility in both a patient-based and population-based sample. Data from the Multiple Outcomes of Raloxifene Evaluation (MORE) study (n = 550 for prevalent VFX and n = 174 for incident VFX) and the European Prospective Osteoporosis Study (EPOS) (n = 236) were used. Utility was assessed by the index score of the EQ-5D. In the MORE study, highly statistically significant associations were found between utility and the presence of prevalent VFX (p < 0.001), number of prevalent VFX (p < 0.001), severity of prevalent VFX (p < 0.001), the combination of number and severity of prevalent VFX (p = 0.001) and location of prevalent VFX (p = 0.019). The mean utility was significantly lower among women who suffered an incident VFX (utility = 0.67) than among women who did not (utility = 0.77) (p = 0.005), although utility loss was not significantly different between the two groups (p = 0.142). In EPOS, the combination of number and severity of incident VFX was significantly related to utility (p = 0.030). In conclusion, utility is lower among persons with prevalent and incident VFX, especially in a patient-based sample. Utility loss was not significantly different between women without and with incident VFX. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.