Three days of critical international discussion and debate, led by a panel of experts from the International Society of Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) and the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), have served to clarify a number of important questions pertaining to the interpretation and use of FRAX® in clinical practice.
The WHO Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX®), with models for some 26 countries, is an important new online tool that is being used by a steadily increasing number of physicians around the world. FRAX® is country-specific and calculates a patient’s 10-year probability of fracture based on scientifically validated risk factors, with or without the input of Bone Mineral Density (BMD) values. Previously, doctors tended to rely primarily on BMD values in making treatment decisions.
The ISCD-IOF FRAX® Initiative Conference, which closed in Bucharest on November 13, 2010, provided a timely forum for critical discussion and debate. The outcomes will be reflected in comprehensive educational documents designed to assist healthcare providers in integrating FRAX® into their daily practice.
“This joint initiative with ISCD has served to clarify a number of important questions pertaining to the application of FRAX® in patient care. The discussions have provided a sound platform for the evidence-based use of the FRAX® tool in the prevention of osteoporotic fractures worldwide,” said Professor Cyrus Cooper, chair of the IOF Committee of Scientific Advisors and co-chair of the Bucharest conference.
As a developer of the tool at the University of Sheffield in the U.K., Professor Eugene McCloskey stated, “It’s been an incredibly useful meeting. The educational component has been excellent and the whole exercise has helped to improve people’s understanding of FRAX® and its interpretation in clinical practice.”
“It has been a nonstop marathon of high level scientific and clinical discussions carried out in a professional and good spirit. These three days were preceded by twelve months of hard work by more than 50 osteoporosis and epidemiology experts from around the world. We have clearly made a significant step forward in the interpretation and use of the FRAX® tool for clinical practitioners and have outlined avenues of future improvements,” said PD Dr. Didier Hans, president of the International Society of Clinical Densitometry and chair of the Bucharest conference.
The ultimate aim of the clinician in the management of osteoporosis should be to reduce the risk of fractures. Treatment decisions must be made through good clinical judgment and through improved identification of patients at high risk. FRAX® is a simple web-tool that integrates clinical information in a quantitative manner to predict a 10-year probability of major osteoporotic fracture for both women and men in different countries. Developed at the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Metabolic Bone Diseases, University of Sheffield, UK, the tool assists primary health care providers to better target people in need of intervention, improving the allocation of healthcare resources towards patients most likely to benefit from treatment. The tool can be accessed free of charge at http://www.shef.ac.uk/FRAX/ or via iPhone Application.
The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is a non profit, nongovernmental umbrella organization dedicated to the worldwide fight against osteoporosis, the disease known as “the silent epidemic”. IOF’s members — committees of scientific researchers, patient, medical and research societies and industry representatives from around the world — share a common vision of a world without osteoporotic fractures. IOF now represents 195 societies in 93 locations. http://www.iofbonehealth.org
The International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) is an international nonprofit professional society linking multiple disciplines with an interest in bone mass measurement and assessment of skeletal integrity. ISCD’s mission is to
Advance Excellence in Skeletal Health Assessment by: Promoting education and a broader understanding of the clinical applications of bone mass measurement and other skeletal health assessment technologies; Assuring proficiency and quality in the assessment of skeletal health through certification and accreditation; Supporting clinical and scientific advances in the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis; and, Promoting appropriate patient access to bone mass measurement and other skeletal health assessment technologies. http://www.iscd.org/