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Scott Med J. 2012 Feb;57(1):8-13. doi: 10.1258/smj.2011.011185. Epub 2011 Dec 16.

Using WHO-FRAX to describe fracture risk: experience in primary care.

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  • 1Levenside Medical Practice, Station Road, Dumbarton G82 1PW, Scotland, UK.


Ideally those at highest risk of fracture should be identified prior to fracture occurrence to reduce mortality, morbidity and costs. Case-finding strategies for those at high risk of first fracture or systematic case-finding strategies following fracture are recommended in the UK, rather than population-based screening to identify individuals at high fracture risk. General practices in the UK hold relevant data on individuals beyond fracture history that could allow identification of a wider group of patients at highest risk of fracture. The aim of the paper is to evaluate the feasibility of applying the WHO-FRAX fracture risk calculator to general practice populations using existing recorded data. A cross-sectional study of 2467 women aged 50 years and older (mean 66.2 years, standard deviation = 11.3) registered with two Scottish General Practices with low deprivation (one semi-rural, one urban) was undertaken. Patient data were extracted from the two general practices' patient information databases and the WHO-FRAX calculator was applied to these data. WHO-FRAX calculation was possible on 1872 patients. Of these, 687 patients were found to have a high fracture risk (risk of major facture ≥15% and or risk of hip fracture ≥3% - 37% of the WHO-FRAX assessed cohort) and should be considered for follow-up. In conclusion, use of the WHO-FRAX calculator using general practice-held data is feasible and can help to identify a patient group at higher fracture risk. Further evaluation and treatments can then be targeted at this group.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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