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Bone. 2014 Dec;69:148-53. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2014.09.015. Epub 2014 Sep 28.

Managing osteoporosis with FRAX® in Australia: proposed new treatment thresholds from the 45&Up Study cohort.

Author information

The Institute of Bone and Joint Research, Level 7C, Acute Services Building, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW 2065, Australia. Electronic address:
Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
The Sax Institute, Sydney, Australia; Concord Clinical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
The Institute of Bone and Joint Research, Kolling Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.



Many people at high risk of fractures are not following traditional guidelines and not being recommended for intervention. This study aimed to propose and evaluate a new set of intervention thresholds.


Participants were 213,375 men and women aged ≥50 years living in New South Wales, Australia. Fracture Risk Assessment Paper Charts (Australia) was used to estimate the 10-year fracture risk. The standardized rates (to Australia population distribution 2007) for intervention were calculated for different thresholds: our proposed new thresholds (i.e. 10-year probability of hip fracture: ≥3%, 5% or 7% for 50-69, 70-79 and ≥80 years respectively), thresholds by the National Osteoporosis Guideline Group (NOGG) approach, UK thresholds and US thresholds.


The NOGG, UK and US thresholds did not work well in the Australian population. For example, the NOGG and UK thresholds respectively qualified only 1 in 12 (8.1%) and 1 in 9 (11.3%) Australian men aged ≥70 years and the US thresholds qualified about 9 in 10 (90.6%) Australian women aged ≥ 70 years. For men or women aged ≥70 years, our proposed new thresholds gave more realistic treatment rates of 21.6% for men and 70.5% for women. Compared to the current Australian guidelines (i.e. T-score ≤ -2.5 and age ≥ 70 years or a fragility fracture), our thresholds identified an additional 4.9% of men and 18.2% of women aged ≥ 70 years for treatment.


The proposed new thresholds could identify currently under-recognised high-risk individuals for treatment. It should be considered as a recommendation for osteoporosis management in Australia.


Fracture risk; Osteoporosis; Osteoporosis management; Treatment thresholds

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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