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Endocr Pract. 2013 Sep-Oct;19(5):780-4. doi: 10.4158/EP12416.OR.

Frax prediction without BMD for assessment of osteoporotic fracture risk.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Las Vegas, Nevada.



To compare Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX) calculations with and without bone mineral density (BMD) in predicting the 10-year probability of hip and major osteoporotic fractures (MOF).


A cross-sectional review of patients requiring screening for osteoporosis as part of their routine medical care was conducted. Postmenopausal women and men over 50 years of age who were never diagnosed with osteoporosis or treated with U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved agents for osteoporosis were included. Height, weight, FRAX questionnaire, femoral neck BMD, and T-score data were obtained. FRAX scores with BMD (FRAX/BMD) and without BMD (FRAX) were calculated. Subjects were separated on the basis of identical and different treatment recommendations. Fracture risk factors were compared between groups using simple Student's t test analysis of numerical variables and Fisher's exact test analysis of binary variables.


Of 151 total subjects, 127 (84%) had identical fracture risk predictions with or without BMD included in the FRAX calculation. Thirty subjects met treatment criteria and 97 did not, but the FRAX prediction was the same with risk factors alone or with risk factors plus BMD. Age was the only risk factor that was significantly different between those with identical and different predictions (median age, 64.42 and 76.25 years, respectively; P<.001).


In most cases, FRAX alone provides the same prediction as FRAX with BMD. Younger age is more indicative of an identical prediction.

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