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Clin Rheumatol. 2013 Feb;32(2):219-23. doi: 10.1007/s10067-012-2106-1. Epub 2012 Nov 1.

What was your fracture risk evaluated by FRAX® the day before your osteoporotic fracture?

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Center for Bone Diseases, Lausanne University Hospital, Avenue Pierre Decker 4, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.


Osteoporotic fracture (OF) is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in industrialized countries. Switzerland is among the countries with the greatest risk. Our aim was (1) to calculate the FRAX(®) in a selected Swiss population the day before the occurrence of an OF and (2) to compare the results with the proposed Swiss FRAX(®) thresholds. The Swiss Association Against Osteoporosis proposed guidelines for the treatment of osteoporosis based on age-dependent thresholds. To identify a population at a very high risk of osteoporotic fracture, we included all consecutive patients in the active OF pathway cohort from the Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland. FRAX(®) was calculated with the available data the day before the actual OF. People with a FRAX(®) body mass index (BMI) or a FRAX(®) (bone mineral density) BMD lower than the Swiss thresholds were not considered at high risk. Two-hundred thirty-seven patients were included with a mean age of 77.2 years, and 80 % were female. Major types of fracture included hip (58 %) and proximal humerus (25 %) fractures. Mean FRAX(®) BMI values were 28.0, 10.0, 13.0, 26.0, and 37.0 % for age groups 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, and 80-89 years old, respectively. Fifty percent of the population was not considered at high risk by the FRAX(®) BMI. FRAX(®) BMD was available for 95 patients, and 45 % had a T score < -2.5 standard deviation. Only 30 % of patients with a normal or osteopenic BMD were classified at high risk by FRAX(®) BMD. The current proposed Swiss thresholds were not able to classify at high risk in 50 to 70 % of the studied population the day before a major OF.

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