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J Intern Med. 2015 Jul;278(1):19-28. doi: 10.1111/joim.12361. Epub 2015 Apr 16.

How to predict and treat increased fracture risk in chronic kidney disease.

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Women's College Research Institute, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.


Men and women with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are at an increased risk of fracture, and this risk increases as kidney function deteriorates. Fractures are associated with morbidity, mortality and economic costs. Despite this, there is a paucity of data regarding how to evaluate risk for fractures in CKD and how to treat high-risk patients. Evidence suggests that bone mineral density (BMD) as assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is associated with fractures and can also predict future fractures in predialysis (stages 1-3) patients with CKD. In the absence of considerable abnormalities in markers of mineral metabolism, treatment with antiresorptive agents in men and women with early CKD at high fracture risk may be appropriate. Of note, recent data suggest that low BMD as measured by DXA can also predict fractures in patients with more advanced CKD (stages 4, 5 and 5D). However, treatment in patients with advanced CKD requires bone biopsy, the gold standard to assess bone turnover, prior to treatment. Further research, focusing on noninvasive methods to assess fracture risk and bone turnover, together with randomized controlled trials of treatments to reduce fractures in patients at all stages of CKD, is required.


DXA; bone mineral density; chronic kidney disease; fractures; treatment

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