Though osteoporosis has always been associated more with women than men and media content on osteoporosis usually covers women because they are more susceptible to the condition, a quiet 17 million men over the age of 50 go unspoken about. (1) However, there is hope in the form of a new risk assessment tool developed by the World Health Organization called the FRAX® tool that helps detect the level of risk of osteoporosis in both men and women.
Dr. Silvina Levis, Founder and Director of Osteoporosis Center (a clinical research center and a joint venture Miller School of Medicine and the Miami VA Medical Center), even goes on to point that once men get a fracture of the hips due to osteoporosis, their chances of dying after the incident doubles when compared to women.
The FRAX® tool will ask the person being assayed questions about certain risk factor that require a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. The person then hits the calculate button and gets their osteoporosis and bone mass density readings quantified. However, the tool calculates risk accurately for a limited age range – 40 years and above. (2) It takes into consideration your age, weight, height, use of tobacco, alcohol, corticosteroids, personal medical history, family history of health conditions etc while arriving at a risk figure. (3)
Rheumatologist Dr. Sanford Baim is of the opinion that the new FRAX® tool by WHO calculates a person’s 10-year risk for any major osteoporosis fracture and hip fractures. He adds, “If your ten year risk of major fracture is over 20%, or over 3% for hip fracture, talk to your doctor.” (4)
In a nutshell, the FRAX® is the new tool around the block containing a computer-based algorithm that will take into account a number of clinical risk factors along with your readings of bone density, age, ethnicity etc so that you arrive at a number that will aid you and your doctor to predict the probability of you having a bone fracture in the next 10 years.
INFORMATION IN THIS ARTICLE IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE. ALL INFORMATION GIVEN IS TO BE CHECKED WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE IMPLEMENTING OR TAKING THEM AS STANDARD OR VERIFIED.
1. Prevalence Report, National Foundation For Osteoporosis. http://www.nof.org/advocacy/resources/prevalencereport
2. FRAX®, WHO Fracture Risk Assessment Tool, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Metabolic Bone Diseases,
University of Sheffield, UK, FAQS. http://www.shef.ac.uk/FRAX/faq.jsp
3. D. Rodriguez, L. Marcellin, The FRAX® Osteoporosis Risk Calculator, EverydayHealth.
4. Maureen McFadden, New test can detect osteoporosis in men and women, WNDU.com.