Bone mineral density (BMD) is a strong predictor of fracture, yet most fractures occur in women without osteoporosis by BMD criteria. To improve fracture risk prediction, the World Health Organization recently developed a country-specific fracture risk index of clinical risk factors (FRAX) that estimates 10-year probabilities of hip and major osteoporotic fracture. Within differing baseline BMD categories, we evaluated 6252 women aged 65 or older in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures using FRAX 10-year probabilities of hip and major osteoporotic fracture (ie, hip, clinical spine, wrist, and humerus) compared with incidence of fractures over 10 years of follow-up. Overall ability of FRAX to predict fracture risk based on initial BMD T-score categories (normal, low bone mass, and osteoporosis) was evaluated with receiver-operating-characteristic (ROC) analyses using area under the curve (AUC). Over 10 years of follow-up, 368 women incurred a hip fracture, and 1011 a major osteoporotic fracture. Women with low bone mass represented the majority (n = 3791, 61%); they developed many hip (n = 176, 48%) and major osteoporotic fractures (n = 569, 56%). Among women with normal and low bone mass, FRAX (including BMD) was an overall better predictor of hip fracture risk (AUC = 0.78 and 0.70, respectively) than major osteoporotic fractures (AUC = 0.64 and 0.62). Simpler models (eg, age + prior fracture) had similar AUCs to FRAX, including among women for whom primary prevention is sought (no prior fracture or osteoporosis by BMD). The FRAX and simpler models predict 10-year risk of incident hip and major osteoporotic fractures in older US women with normal or low bone mass.
Copyright © 2011 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.