The application of FRAX in Saudi Arabia

Nasser M. Al-Daghri, Shaun Sabico, Yousef Al-Saleh, Riad Sulimani, Naji J. Aljohani, Eman Sheshah, Abdulaziz Alodhayani, Nicholas C. Harvey, Enwu Liu, Mattias Lorentzon, Eugene V. McCloskey, Liesbeth Vandenput, Helena Johansson, John A. Kanis

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Summary: Assessment and treatment pathways based on age-specific intervention thresholds in Saudi Arabi can be used to identify patients at high risk of fracture and avoid unnecessary treatment in those at low fracture risk. Purpose: Intervention thresholds for the treatment of osteoporosis have historically been based on the measurement of bone mineral density. The aim of the present study was to explore treatment paths and characteristics of women eligible for treatment in Saudi Arabia based on fracture probabilities derived from FRAX®. Methods: The approach to the setting of intervention and assessment thresholds used the methodology adopted by the National Osteoporosis Guideline Group for FRAX-based guidelines in the UK but based on the epidemiology of fracture and death in Saudi Arabia. The methodology was applied to women age 40 years or more drawn from a tertiary referral population for skeletal assessment. Missing data for the calculation of FRAX was simulated using data from the referral and FRAX derivation cohorts. Results: Intervention thresholds expressed as a 10-year probability of a major osteoporotic fracture ranged from 2.0% at the age of 50 years increasing to 7.6% at the age of 70 years. A total of 163 of 1365 women (11.9%) had a prior fragility fracture and would be eligible for treatment for this reason. An additional 5 women were eligible for treatment in that MOF probabilities lay above the upper assessment threshold. A BMD test would be recommended for 593 women (43.4%) so that FRAX could be recalculated with the inclusion of femoral neck BMD. Of these, 220 individuals would be eligible for treatment after a BMD test and 373 women categorised at low risk after a BMD test. Conclusion: Probability-based assessment of fracture risk using age-specific intervention thresholds was developed for Saudi Arabia to help guide decisions about treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number166
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Osteoporosis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Fracture risk assessment
  • FRAX
  • Intervention threshold
  • Osteoporosis


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