Risk factors for fracture can be purely skeletal, e.g., bone mass, microarchitecture or geometry, or a combination of bone and falls risk related factors such as age and functional status. The remit of this Task Force was to review the evidence and consider if falls should be incorporated into the FRAX® model or, alternatively, to provide guidance to assist clinicians in clinical decision-making for patients with a falls history. It is clear that falls are a risk factor for fracture. Fracture probability may be underestimated by FRAX® in individuals with a history of frequent falls. The substantial evidence that various interventions are effective in reducing falls risk was reviewed. Targeting falls risk reduction strategies towards frail older people at high risk for indoor falls is appropriate. This Task Force believes that further fracture reduction requires measures to reduce falls risk in addition to bone directed therapy. Clinicians should recognize that patients with frequent falls are at higher fracture risk than currently estimated by FRAX® and include this in decision-making. However, quantitative adjustment of the FRAX® estimated risk based on falls history is not currently possible. In the long term, incorporation of falls as a risk factor in the FRAX® model would be ideal.
Copyright © 2011 The International Society for Clinical Densitometry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.