Non-invasive determinants of osteoporotic fracture risk

Boon Kiang Tan

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    555 Downloads (Pure)


    [Truncated abstract] The cost of managing osteoporotic fractures places a significant financial burden on the health-care system. To reduce the fracture burden, early identification of fracture risk is essential to allow early intervention. The limitations associated with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), such as limited sensitivity and specificity, cost, ionising radiation and accessibility, have resulted in the emergence of other technologies for assessing bone fragility. An example is the portable and non-ionising quantitative ultrasound (QUS) technology. The discriminatory power of quantitative ultrasonometry in fracture risk identification, either independently or in combination with other established risk factors, currently remains contentious. It is recommended that fracture risk assessment should not only focus on bone status, but also on the risk of falls. Additionally, it has been noted that disability arising from osteoporotic fractures, even when these fractures are not identified clinically, can translate into psychosocial symptoms and a poorer perception of health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The primary aim of the present study was to investigate if a composite model comprising: calcaneal QUS, falls risk and HRQoL assessments, can identify a group of elderly women at high risk of osteoporotic fracture from those at lower risk. One hundred and four community-dwelling women (mean age 71.3 ±5.8 years) were recruited for this study. These women underwent a series of tests that included: DXA bone mineral density (BMD) evaluation of the proximal femur and lumbar spine (L1 L4); calcaneal QUS measurement; spinal radiography; rasterstereographic back surface curvature (BSC) examination; and performance-based assessment of strength, mobility and balance. The women were classified into a `High Risk’group or a `Low Risk’ group using three separate classification criteria: i) low BMD, based on the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended T-score of < -2.5, and⁄or a history of fragility fracture (Osteoporotic [OP] group versus Non-Osteoporotic [NOP] group); ii) presence of at least one radiographically identified prevalent vertebral fracture (Vertebral Fracture [VF] group versus Non-Vertebral Fracture [NVF] group); or iii) a history of either forearm or wrist fracture (Forearm/Wrist Fracture [WF] group versus Non-Forearm/Wrist Fracture [NWF] group)
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2005


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