220313 Assessing your risk of a bone fracture over the next ten years

Assessing your risk of a bone fracture over the next ten years

The World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Metabolic Bone Diseases, University of Sheffield, UK http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/FRAX/ (1) has developed a calculator that helps estimate your risks are of a bone fracture over the next ten years. FRAX, an acronym, of the Fracture Risk Assessment Tool that doctors are encouraged to use when prescribing medicine for their patients with a bone disease, either in its infancy such as osteopenia or full ranges of osteoporosis.

The FRAX guide takes into consideration the following when doing the calculations:

Weight (2)
Height (3)
Any previous fractures
Prior hip fractures
Smoking or nonsmoking status
The use of glucocorticoids such as prednisolone for over three months
Whether or not the person had rheumatoid arthritis
Secondary osteoporosis, i.e. menopause before turning 45 years of age or type two diabetes uses alcohol more than three times a day

Femoral neck bone mineral density

As one may see, this is a fairly thorough list of items the doctors look at to help guide them in their decision as to whether they should consider using medication or not in the treatment of an individual’s bone health.

For example, if the risk of a hip fracture is at least three percent or a bone fracture is at twenty percent or greater over the next ten years then the NOF recommends prescribing medication to slow down or stop the continuation of the disease. On a good note, according to the NOF, most men and women won’t enter these danger areas until they are in their seventies.

Take a moment to look the site over and see how you fair. If you are in the danger zones talk to your doctor. Did you notice the Body Mass Index (BMI) listing just above the end result number? What number showed up?

For your information, here are the current recommendations as to the accepted BMI for good health. Warning, The BMI is not a useful tool if you are an active person with more than usual muscular development.

BMI Categories:

Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
Overweight = 25–29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

Ponder the information here and decide for yourself whether you need to be seeing a doctor about your risk of a bone fracture.

[1] The FRAX® tool has been developed by WHO to evaluate fracture risk of patients. It is based on individual patient models that integrate the risks associated with clinical risk factors as well as bone mineral density (BMD) at the femoral neck.

The FRAX® models have been developed from studying population-based cohorts from Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. In their most sophisticated form, the FRAX® tool is computer-driven and is available on this site. Several simplified paper versions, based on the number of risk factors are also available, and can be downloaded for office use.

The FRAX® algorithms give the 10-year probability of fracture. The output is a 10-year probability of hip fracture and the 10-year probability of a major osteoporotic fracture (clinical spine, forearm, hip or shoulder fracture).

[1] To convert your bodyweight, in pounds, to kilograms http://www.onlineconversion.com/weight_common.htm

[1] to convert inches to centimeters or vice versa, here is the site that will convert inches to centimeters: http://www.onlineconversion.com/length_common.htm