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J Bone Miner Res. 2008 Jul;23(7):1045-51. doi: 10.1359/jbmr.080229.

Assessment of the 10-year probability of osteoporotic hip fracture combining clinical risk factors and heel bone ultrasound: the EPISEM prospective cohort of 12,958 elderly women.

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  • 1Nuclear Medicine Division, Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland.


This study aimed to develop a hip screening tool that combines relevant clinical risk factors (CRFs) and quantitative ultrasound (QUS) at the heel to determine the 10-yr probability of hip fractures in elderly women. The EPISEM database, comprised of approximately 13,000 women 70 yr of age, was derived from two population-based white European cohorts in France and Switzerland. All women had baseline data on CRFs and a baseline measurement of the stiffness index (SI) derived from QUS at the heel. Women were followed prospectively to identify incident fractures. Multivariate analysis was performed to determine the CRFs that contributed significantly to hip fracture risk, and these were used to generate a CRF score. Gradients of risk (GR; RR/SD change) and areas under receiver operating characteristic curves (AUC) were calculated for the CRF score, SI, and a score combining both. The 10-yr probability of hip fracture was computed for the combined model. Three hundred seven hip fractures were observed over a mean follow-up of 3.2 yr. In addition to SI, significant CRFs for hip fracture were body mass index (BMI), history of fracture, an impaired chair test, history of a recent fall, current cigarette smoking, and diabetes mellitus. The average GR for hip fracture was 2.10 per SD with the combined SI + CRF score compared with a GR of 1.77 with SI alone and of 1.52 with the CRF score alone. Thus, the use of CRFs enhanced the predictive value of SI alone. For example, in a woman 80 yr of age, the presence of two to four CRFs increased the probability of hip fracture from 16.9% to 26.6% and from 52.6% to 70.5% for SI Z-scores of +2 and -3, respectively. The combined use of CRFs and QUS SI is a promising tool to assess hip fracture probability in elderly women, especially when access to DXA is limited.

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