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Scientific research now supports the use of proven therapies to prevent osteoporotic fractures based on the individual's probability of fracture as opposed to their bone density score alone. This new concept is currently being validated by a WHO working group (established in 1998) in collaboration with IOF and the (US) National Osteoporosis Foundation to ensure its accuracy and reproducibility. The goal is to develop an easy-to-use fracture risk assessment tool for family physicians to use with patients of both sexes, all ages, ethnic groups and in all countries. The results of the investigation are expected in 2005 and will be announced by IOF.

Below is a report by IOF board member John A. Kanis and colleagues, which gives an overview of the research developments and suggests how better assessment of fracture risk can be achieved in clinical practice. It has been accepted for publication in an upcoming issue of Osteoporosis International.

ASSESSMENT OF FRACTURE RISK

by John Kanis, Frederik Borgstrom, Chris De Laet, Helena Johansson, Olof Johnell, Bengt Jonsson, Anders Oden, Niklas Zethraeus, Bruce Pfleger, Nikolai Khaltaev

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Correspondence to: John A. Kanis, Centre for Metabolic Bone Diseases (WHO Collaborating Centre), University of Sheffield Medical School, Beech Hill Road, Sheffield S10 2RX, UK / Tel: 44 114 285 1109/ Fax: 44 114 285 1813 / e-mail: w.j.pontefract@sheffield.ac.uk

See recent IOF press releases on fracture risk assessment:

May 17, 2004
IMPROVING PREDICTIONS OF FRACTURE RISK
Research shows opportunity for more accurate measurement of bone mineral density and predicting fracture risk
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May 17, 2004
SMOKING AND OBESITY BAD FOR BONES
Research presented at the IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis confirms that smoking and abdominal obesity are incompatible with strong bones.
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May 16, 2004
LARGE-SCALE OSTEOPOROSIS STUDIES REVEAL HIGH INCIDENCE OF DISEASE IN LATIN AMERICA, CONFIRM SMOKING AS RISK FACTOR
Presented at the IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis, a groundbreaking Latin American collaboration shows high rates of osteoporosis and reveals family history as a major risk factor. A long-running European study judges smoking a major risk factor for the disease, and confirms bone mineral density measurement as a predictor of fracture risk.
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May 16, 2004
DO CAUCASIAN AND ASIAN GENES DIFFER IN RESPECT TO RELATIVE BONE MINERAL DENSITY?
IOF Servier Young Investigator award goes to professor studying genetics in the United States and China
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May 16, 2004
BONE MINERAL DENSITY CONFIRMED AS KEY INDICATOR OF FRACTURE RISK
Test is particularly accurate for young people, increase in BMD doesn't correlate with reduced fracture risk, orthopaedic surgeons fail to recognize osteoporosis in their patientsTest is particularly accurate for young people, increase in BMD doesn't correlate with reduced fracture risk, orthopaedic surgeons fail to recognize osteoporosis in their patients
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