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Assessment of non-vertebral fracture risk in postmenopausal women
  1. Christian Roux1,
  2. Karine Briot1,
  3. Stéphane Horlait2,
  4. Alex Varbanov3,
  5. Nelson B Watts4,
  6. Steven Boonen5
  1. 1Université Paris-Descartes, Faculté de Médecine, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Hôpital Cochin, service de Rhumatologie, rue du Faubourg Saint Jacques, Paris, France
  2. 2Procter and Gamble, Neuilly, France
  3. 3Procter and Gamble, Cincinnati, USA
  4. 4College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
  5. 5Division of Geriatric Medicine, Center for Metabolic Bone Diseases, Leuven, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor C Roux
    Université Paris-Descartes, Faculté de Médecine, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Hôpital Cochin, Service de Rhumatologie, 27, rue du Faubourg Saint Jacques, Paris 75014, France; christian.roux{at}


Background: Non-vertebral (NV) fractures are responsible for a great amount of morbidity, mortality and cost attributable to osteoporosis.

Objectives: To identify risk factors for NV fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, and to design an assessment tool for prediction of these fractures.

Methods: 2546 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis included in the placebo groups of three risedronate controlled trials were included (mean age 72 years, mean femoral T-score −2.5; 60% and 53% of patients with prevalent vertebral and NV fractures, respectively). Over 3 years, 222 NV fractures were observed. Baseline data on 14 risk factors were included in a logistic regression analysis.

Results: 6 risk factors were associated with NV fracture risk: prevalent NV fracture (p = 0.004), number of prevalent vertebral fractures (p<0.001), femoral T-score (p = 0.031), serum level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (p<0.001), age (p = 0.012) and height (p = 0.037). An NV risk index was developed by converting the multivariate logistic equation into an additive score. In the group of women with a score ⩾2.1, the incidence of NV fracture was 13.2% (95% CI 11.1 to 15.3), 1.5 times higher than that of the general population.

Conclusions: The NV risk index is a convenient tool for selection of patients with osteoporosis with a high risk for NV fractures, and may help to choose from available treatments those with a proven efficacy for reduction of NV fracture risk.

  • BMD, bone mineral density
  • NV, non-vertebral
  • ROC, receiver operating characteristic

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  • Published Online First 21 February 2007

  • Competing interests: None declared.