Osteoporotic fractures are associated with excess mortality. Effective treatment options are available, which reduce the risk of vertebral and non-vertebral fractures, but the identification of patients with high fracture risk is problematic. Low bone mineral density (BMD) - the basis for the diagnosis of osteoporosis - is an important, but not the only determinant of fracture risk. Several clinical risk factors are know that operate partially or completely independently of BMD, and affect the fracture risk. These include age, a prior fragility fracture, a parental history of hip fracture, use of corticosteroids, excess alcohol intake, rheumatoid arthritis, and different types of diseases which can cause secondary bone loss. The FRAX® tool integrates the weight of above mentioned clinical risk factors for fracture risk assessment with or without BMD value, and calculates the 10-year absolute risk of hip and major osteoporotic (hip, vertebral, humerus and forearm together) fracture probabilities. Although the use of data is not yet uniform, the FRAX® is a promising opportunity to identify individuals with high fracture risk. The accumulation of experience with FRAX® is going on and it can modify current diagnostic and therapeutic recommendations in Hungary as well.
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