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Osteoporosis is a major cause of ill health in postmenopausal women. Several risk factors for osteoporosis have been identified, and they have been widely recommended as a means of identifying subgroups of postmenopausal women who might benefit from prophylaxis and therapy. Evidence to support this use of risk factors is currently lacking, however. We have constructed and evaluated a profile of putative risk factors as a means of identifying women attending general practitioners who have sustained vertebral fractures. The overall prevalence of vertebral fractures in the 1012 women (mean age 64.4 years) studied was 7.8%. Women who had sustained vertebral fractures in this population were significantly (p less than 0.05) older and shorter than those without fractures. They reported a significantly (p less than 0.05) earlier menopause, lower parity and a greater prevalence of hyperthyroidism. However, the best screening instrument devised was not sufficiently predictive to warrant widespread use.

Original publication




Journal article


Osteoporosis international : a journal established as result of cooperation between the European Foundation for Osteoporosis and the National Osteoporosis Foundation of the USA

Publication Date





48 - 53


Rheumatology Unit, Bristol Royal Infirmary, UK.


Humans, Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal, Spinal Fractures, Mass Screening, Risk Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Middle Aged, Female, Surveys and Questionnaires