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Papers of the Week

2022 Jul




Osteoporosis Screening and Fracture Risk Assessment Tool: Its Scope and Role in General Clinical Practice.


Osteoporosis is a widely prevalent condition among postmenopausal women characterized by low bone mass and skeletal fragility that increases the risk of fractures specifically in the hip, spine, wrist, humerus, and pelvis. It has become a major public health problem around the world. An osteoporotic fracture affects one in every three women and one in every five men aged 50 and above. Hip and spine fractures are linked to a higher death rate and can cause ambulation problems, depression, chronic pain, independence loss, and persistent discomfort. It not only puts a lot of strain on the individual but also causes a significant cost to society. Osteoporosis is a silent disease that goes unrecognized until a patient develops a pathological fracture. Diagnosis of osteoporosis is based on bone mineral density (BMD) estimation by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) as defined by WHO. However, in many resource-constrained and underdeveloped or low-middle income countries, it is not widely available. There are a number of questionnaire-based techniques available to identify such postmenopausal women and older men who may be at risk of having low BMD and osteoporosis. Our aim of the study is to search and compile such simple yet useful and validated screening and assessment tools for osteoporosis that can help to identify people at risk of having low BMD and the potential candidate who can benefit from BMD estimation in a resource-restricted geographical area or low/middle-income countries and benefit from treatment. Though these tools are not diagnostic can have broader applicability in general clinical practice and usefulness in identifying high-risk individuals and may prove cost-effective. Although it has limitations, FRAX is a widely used osteoporotic fracture risk assessment tool around the globe and when used with femoral neck BMD it has greater accuracy.