New FRAX Report for World Osteoporosis Day

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Oct 19 2009 - 12:41pm

In recognition of World Osteoporosis Day and the millions of women and men who have osteoporosis or who are at risk of the disease, the International Osteoporosis Foundation is issuing a new report on FRAX®. The FRAX was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and stands for “Fracture Risk Assessment Tool.”

Osteoporosis, or “porous bone,” affects an estimated 44 million Americans, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Ten million are estimated to have the disease, and another 34 million have low bone mass, which places them at increased risk for osteoporosis. Eighty percent of those affected by osteoporosis are women. The International Osteoporosis Foundation reports that an estimated 75 million people in Europe, the United States, and Japan are affected by the disease.

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Osteoporosis is a progressive disease that typically has no symptoms until the first fracture occurs. Fractures are a major cause of disability, pain, and mortality, especially among the elderly who experience a hip fracture. The FRAX tool, which is available free online, helps clinicians more efficiently identify women and men who are at highest risk of fractures.

What makes FRAX important is that it uses several clinical risk factors rather than bone mass density alone to calculate an individual’s ten-year fracture probability. Measurement of bone mass density requires DXA (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) technology that is not available in many areas of the world, and even in many areas of developed nations. Therefore physicians can more accurately identify the risk of osteoporosis just about anywhere in the world.

Currently, FLAX is available in six different languages and for 18 different countries. The International Osteoporosis Foundation's report on FRAX is available online. The Foundation ‘s President John Kanis noted on the website that the organization “hopes to bring understanding of FRAX to a broad audience of health professionals so that more people at risk of debilitating fractures are identified and treated before these fractures occur.”

SOURCES:
International Osteoporosis Foundation
National Osteoporosis Foundation

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