Time to Clinically Relevant Fracture Risk Scores in Postmenopausal Women

Margaret L. Gourlay, Robert A. Overman, Jason P. Fine, Carolyn J. Crandall, John A Robbins, John T. Schousboe, Kristine E. Ensrud, Erin S. LeBlanc, Margery L. Gass, Karen C. Johnson, Catherine R. Womack, Andrea Z. LaCroix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Clinical practice guidelines recommend use of fracture risk scores for screening and pharmacologic treatment decisions. The timing of occurrence of treatment-level (according to 2014 National Osteoporosis Foundation guidelines) or screening-level (according to 2011 US Preventive Services Task Force guidelines) fracture risk scores has not been estimated in postmenopausal women. Methods: We conducted a retrospective competing risk analysis of new occurrence of treatment-level and screening-level fracture risk scores in postmenopausal women aged 50 years and older, prior to receipt of pharmacologic treatment and prior to first hip or clinical vertebral fracture. Results: In 54,280 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 64 years without a bone mineral density test, the time for 10% to develop a treatment-level FRAX score could not be estimated accurately because of rare incidence of treatment-level scores. In 6096 women who had FRAX scores calculated with bone mineral density, the estimated unadjusted time to treatment-level FRAX ranged from 7.6 years (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.6-8.7) for those aged 65 to 69, to 5.1 years (95% CI, 3.5-7.5) for those aged 75 to 79 at baseline. Of 17,967 women aged 50 to 64 with a screening-level FRAX at baseline, 100 (0.6%) experienced a hip or clinical vertebral fracture by age 65 years. Conclusions: Postmenopausal women with sub-threshold fracture risk scores at baseline were unlikely to develop a treatment-level FRAX score between ages 50 and 64 years. After age 65, the increased incidence of treatment-level fracture risk scores, osteoporosis, and major osteoporotic fracture supports more frequent consideration of FRAX and bone mineral density testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - 2017


  • Bone density
  • Fractures
  • Menopausal
  • Osteoporosis/epidemiology
  • Risk assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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