FRAX-based fracture probabilities in South Africa

Helena Johansson, Sapna S. Dela, Bilkish Cassim, Farhanah Paruk, Susan L. Brown, Magda Conradie, Nicholas C. Harvey, Johannes D. Jordaan, Asgar A. Kalla, Enwu Liu, Mattias Lorentzon, Mkhululi Lukhele, Eugene V. McCloskey, Ozayr Mohamed, Pariva Chutterpaul, Liesbeth Vandenput, John A. Kanis

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Summary: The hip fracture rates in South Africa were used to create ethnic-specific FRAX® models to facilitate fracture risk assessment. Introduction: The aim of this study was to develop FRAX models to compute the 10-year probability of hip fracture and major osteoporotic fracture and assess their potential clinical application. Methods: Age- and sex-specific incidence of hip fracture and national mortality rates were incorporated into a FRAX model for the White, Black African, Coloured and Indian population of South Africa. Age-specific 10-year probabilities of a major osteoporotic fracture were calculated in women to determine fracture probabilities at a femoral neck T score of -2.5 SD, or those equivalent to a woman with a prior fragility fracture. Fracture probabilities were compared with those from selected countries. Results: Probabilities were consistently higher in Indian than in Coloured men and women, in turn, higher than in Black South Africans. For White South Africans, probabilities were lower than in Indians at young ages up to the age of about 80 years. When a BMD T score of −2.5 SD was used as an intervention threshold, FRAX probabilities in women age 50 years were approximately 2-fold higher than in women of the same age but with an average BMD and no risk factors. The increment in risk associated with the BMD threshold decreased progressively with age such that, at the age of 80 years or more, a T score of −2.5 SD was no longer a risk factor. Probabilities equivalent to women with a previous fracture rose with age and identified women at increased risk at all ages. Conclusions: These FRAX models should enhance accuracy of determining fracture probability amongst the South African population and help guide decisions about treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number51
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Osteoporosis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemiology
  • Fracture probability
  • FRAX
  • Hip fracture
  • Osteoporosis
  • South Africa


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