New osteoporosis predictor developed in formula

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 9, 2006

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A new equation has proven to be 75% accurate in predicting a woman's risk of osteoporotic fracture, according to research published in the October Radiology.

The equation, which was developed by researchers from the University of Melbourne, Australia, takes into account a variety of risk factors, not just bone mineral density. The equation could provide additional information for devising a treatment strategy, particularly for women who have different levels of bone density in their hips and spines, the researchers said.

The equation measures a patient's likelihood of falling, low bone mass and excess or low body weight to indicate just how serious her fracture risk may be.

Heavier women fared worse, as weight seemed to increase the force applied to bones during a fall. Previously, women of lower weight were thought to be at greater risk because of lower bone mass.

By using the formula, 75% of fractures were successfully predicted two years after baseline measures were obtained.

The researchers studied 231 elderly women who had sustained a low-trauma fracture of the hip, spine, humerus or forearm during a two-year period, as well as 448 elderly women who were selected randomly and had not sustained a fracture.

Measurements that were obtained for this study population were then used to develop the equation, which was then tested on a third group of women randomly selected from the community.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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