Bone and Joint Institute

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Archives of Osteoporosis





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© 2015, The Author(s). Summary: The WHO fracture risk assessment (FRAX) and Canadian Association of Radiologists and Osteoporosis Canada (CAROC) tools can both be used to determine an individual’s 10-year risk of osteoporotic fracture. However, these tools differ in their risk calculation. For participants fracture, FRAX provides a lower fracture risk estimate than CAROC resulting in fewer decisions to initiate therapy.Purpose: The purpose of the current report is to compare fracture risk prediction rates using the CAROC and the FRAX® tools.Methods: Individuals ≥50 years with a distal radius fracture resulting from a fall from standing height or less were recruited from a single orthopedic clinic. Participants underwent a DXA scan of their lumbar spine and hip. Femoral neck (FN) bone mineral density (BMD) and fracture risk factors were used to determine each participant’s 10-year fracture risk using both fracture risk assessment tools. Participants were categorized as low (<10 >%), moderate (10–20 %), or high (>20 %) risk. Stratified by age (<65 >years, >65 years), the proportion of participants in each category was compared between the tools.Results: Analyses included 60 participants (mean age 65.7 ± 9.6 years). In those (n = 26), the proportion of individuals at low, moderate, and high risk differed between the FRAX and CAROC tools (p < 0.0001). FRAX categorized 69 % as low (CAROC 0 %) and 3 % as high (CAROC 12 %) risk. For individuals >65 years, almost all were at least at moderate risk (FRAX 79 %, CAROC 53 %), but fewer were at high risk using FRAX (18 vs. 47 %, p < 0.0003).Conclusion: For participants 65 years were at moderate or high risk under both FRAX and CAROC and should at least be considered for pharmacotherapy.


This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

This article originally published at: Beattie, K., Adachi, J., Ioannidis, G. et al. Estimating osteoporotic fracture risk following a wrist fracture: a tale of two systems. Arch Osteoporos 10, 13 (2015).

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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