New way to predict bone fracture risk is successful

October 19, 2012

Topic: orthopaedics

New way to predict bone fracture risk is successful

A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that previous methods of predicting an older adult's risk of fractures were more consistently accurate if race was not taken into consideration. Currently, when a professional in the field of orthopaedics evaluates whether a patient has osteoporosis, he or she will most likely order a bone density scan and then compare the results to a database of individuals of the same age and race.

The problem with this method is that it doesn't take into account people with mixed ethnicities. 

"All the current ways of determining your risk for fractures require knowing your race and ethnicity correctly, and they ignore the fact that racial and ethnic groups are not homogenous," said study co-author Arun Karlamangla, M.D.

To correct this situation, researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles analyzed the information of approximately 2,000 American females who were between the ages of 42 and 53, and were of different races. Instead of using data based on race and ethnicity to evaluate the bone density test, they created a new method of comparison, which used body size and bone size to develop bone strength indices. They found that with this strategy, they still predicted the participants' risks of bone fractures as accurately as if they had used the traditional way. 

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