[Osteoporosis - whom to treat? The importance of FRAX® in Switzerland].Ther Umsch. 2012 Mar; 69(3):207-13.TU
The WHO fracture risk assessment tool FRAX® is a computer based algorithm that provides models for the assessment of fracture probability in men and women. The approach uses easily obtained clinical risk factors (CRFs) to estimate 10-year probability of a major osteoporotic fracture (hip, clinical spine, humerus or wrist fracture) and the 10-year probability of a hip fracture. The estimate can be used alone or with femoral neck bone mineral density (BMD) to enhance fracture risk prediction. FRAX® is the only risk engine which takes into account the hazard of death as well as that of fracture. Probability of fracture is calculated in men and women from age, body mass index, and dichotomized variables that comprise a prior fragility fracture, parental history of hip fracture, current tobacco smoking, ever long-term use of oral glucocorticoids, rheumatoid arthritis, other causes of secondary osteoporosis, daily alcohol consumption of 3 or more units daily. The relationship between risk factors and fracture probability was constructed using information of nine population-based cohorts from around the world. CRFs for fracture had been identified that provided independent information on fracture risk based on a series of meta-analyses. The FRAX® algorithm was validated in 11 independent cohorts with in excess of 1 million patient-years, including the Swiss SEMOF cohort. Since fracture risk varies markedly in different regions of the world, FRAX® models need to be calibrated to those countries where the epidemiology of fracture and death is known. Models are currently available for 31 countries across the world. The Swiss-specific FRAX® model was developed very soon after the first release of FRAX® in 2008 and was published in 2009, using Swiss epidemiological data, integrating fracture risk and death hazard of our country. Two FRAX®-based approaches may be used to explore intervention thresholds. They have recently been investigated in the Swiss setting. In the first approach the guideline that individuals with a fracture probability equal to or exceeding that of women with a prior fragility fracture should be considered for treatment is translated into thresholds using 10-year fracture probabilities. In that case the threshold is age-dependent and increases from 16 % at the age of 60 ys to 40 % at the age of 80 ys. The second approach is a cost-effectiveness approach. Using a FRAX®-based intervention threshold of 15 % for both, women and men 50 years and older, should permit cost-effective access to therapy to patients at high fracture probability in our country and thereby contribute to further reduce the growing burden of osteoporotic fractures.