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Evaluation of FRAX Performance Without Bone Mineral Density Calibrated for Mexico to Recognize Women at Risk of Fragility Fractures in Routine Clinical Care

Gabriel Horta-Baas 1

J Clin Rheumatol doi: 10.1097/RHU.0000000000001587. 


Objective: To evaluate FRAX clinical performance without bone mineral density (BMD) to approach people with fracture risk.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out from July 2012 to February 2020 at outpatient clinic of rheumatology in 2 public hospitals. Postmenopausal women between 40 and 90 years of age were chosen if no previous osteoporosis treatment was received and had femoral neck BMD determination. Clinical performance of FRAX without BMD was evaluated using agreement and diagnostic test statistics.

Results: Four hundred seventy-seven women with a mean age of 62.85 years were included. FRAX without BMD classified 46.03% of them at low risk, 45.82% intermediate risk, and 8.16% high risk. When BMD was included, 17.19% of them revealed high risk. Not incorporating BMD value in the risk assessed a higher percentage of error in the fracture risk classification in high-risk patients; otherwise, including BMD reclassified it as risk below treatment threshold in 20.51% of the patients. The percentage of agreement between the recommendations based on FRAX with and without BMD was 94.98%. Agreement between FRAX score with or without BMD was good to very good (κ = 0.79, Gwet = 0.93). FRAX without BMD presented a positive predictive value of 79.5% and negative predictive value of 97.7%.

Conclusions: FRAX without BMD correctly classified most women evaluated, primarily low-risk women. In order to identify accurately women at high fracture risk, it would be advisable to determine the BMD in women with moderate to high risk of FRAX without BMD.