Improved fracture risk prediction by adding VFA-identified vertebral fracture data to BMD by DXA and clinical risk factors used in FRAX

L. Johansson, H. Johansson, K. F. Axelsson, H. Litsne, N. C. Harvey, E. Liu, W. D. Leslie, L. Vandenput, E. McCloskey, J. A. Kanis, M. Lorentzon

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Abstract

Summary: Vertebral fracture (VF) is a strong predictor of subsequent fracture. In this study of older women, VF, identified by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) vertebral fracture assessment (VFA), were associated with an increased risk of incident fractures and had a substantial impact on fracture probability, supporting the utility of VFA in clinical practice. Purpose: Clinical and occult VF can be identified using VFA with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). The aim of this study was to investigate to what extent VFA-identified VF improve fracture risk prediction, independently of bone mineral density (BMD) and clinical risk factors used in FRAX. Methods: A total of 2852 women, 75–80 years old, from the prospective population-based study SUPERB cohort, were included in this study. At baseline, BMD was measured by DXA, VF diagnosed by VFA, and questionnaires used to collect data on risk factors for fractures. Incident fractures were captured by X-ray records or by diagnosis codes. An extension of Poisson regression was used to estimate the association between VFA-identified VF and the risk of fracture and the 5- and 10-year probability of major osteoporotic fracture (MOF) was calculated from the hazard functions for fracture and death. Results: During a median follow-up of 5.15 years (IQR 4.3–5.9 years), the number of women who died or suffered a MOF, clinical VF, or hip fracture was 229, 422, 160, and 124, respectively. A VFA-identified VF was associated with an increased risk of incident MOF (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.78; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.46–2.18), clinical VF (HR = 2.88; 95% [CI] 2.11–3.93), and hip fracture (HR = 1.67; 95% [CI] 1.15–2.42), adjusted for age, height, and weight. For women at age 75 years, a VFA-identified VF was associated with 1.2–1.4-fold greater 10-year MOF probability compared with not taking VFA into account, depending on BMD. Conclusion: Identifying an occult VF using VFA has a substantial impact on fracture probability, indicating that VFA is an efficient method to improve fracture prediction in older women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1725-1738
Number of pages14
JournalOsteoporosis International
Volume33
Issue number8
Early online date22 Apr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Clinical risk factors and bone mineral density
  • Fracture risk
  • Older women
  • Vertebral fracture
  • Vertebral fracture assessment

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