11 Factors Help ID Hip Fracture Risk
Researchers Design Survey to Predict Fracture Risk in Older Women
WebMD News Archive
Nov. 27, 2007 -- A new diagnostic model could help identify older women at
risk for hip fractures, even when those women show little evidence of
Bone density scanning is the best single test for identifying hip fracture
risk in older people. But by some estimates, more than half of hip fractures
occur among those who do not meet the diagnostic criteria for osteoporosis.
In an effort to address this, University of California at Davis researcher
John Robbins, MD, and colleagues developed an 11-question survey designed to
predict a postmenopausal (aged 50-79) woman's five-year risk of suffering a hip
fracture. They did this by evaluating data from almost 95,000 older women
participating in the Women's Health Initiative, an ongoing national health
The survey is available in the form of an Internet calculator, which can be
found at the web site of the Fred
Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
The factors evaluated in the calculator to predict risk of hip fracture
within five years were:
- Race/ethnic group
- General health
- Physical activity
- Personal history of a fracture at age 55 or older
- Parent history of a fracture after age 40
- Current smoking
- Current corticosteroid use
- Treated diabetes
The study is published in the Nov. 28 issue of The Journal of the
American Medical Association.
"Bone density scanning is important, but that is just one dimension of
hip fracture risk," Robbins tells WebMD. "About half of fractures can
be explained by low bone density and about half cannot. That is why we need
other ways to evaluate risk."