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Falls and fractures share several common risk factors. Although past falls is not included as an input variable in the FRAX calculator, we demonstrate that FRAX probability predicts risk of incident falls in the MrOs Sweden cohort.Although not included in the FRAX® algorithm, it is possible that increased falls risk is partly dependent on other risk factors that are incorporated into FRAX. The aim of the present study was to determine whether fracture probability generated by FRAX might also predict risk of incident falls and the extent that a falls history would add value to FRAX.We studied the relationship between FRAX probabilities and risk of falls in 1836 elderly men recruited to the MrOS study, a population-based prospective cohort of men from Sweden. Baseline data included falls history, clinical risk factors, bone mineral density (BMD) at femoral neck, and calculated FRAX probabilities. Incident falls were captured during an average of 1.8 years of follow-up. An extension of Poisson regression was used to investigate the relationship between FRAX, other risk variables, and the time-to-event hazard function of falls. All associations were adjusted for age and time since baseline.At enrolment, 15.5 % of the men had fallen during the preceding 12 months (past falls) and 39 % experienced one or more falls during follow-up (incident falls). The risk of incident falls increased with increasing FRAX probabilities at baseline (hazard ratio (HR) per standard deviation (SD), 1.16; 95 % confidence interval (95%CI), 1.06 to 1.26). The association between incident falls and FRAX probability remained after adjustment for past falls (HR per SD, 1.12; 95%CI, 1.03 to 1.22). High compared with low baseline FRAX score (>15 vs <15 % probability of major osteoporotic fracture) was strongly predictive of increased falls risk (HR, 1.64; 95%CI, 1.36 to 1.97) and remained stable with time. Whereas past falls were a significant predictor of incident falls (HR, 2.75; 95%CI, 2.32 to 3.25), even after adjustment for FRAX, the hazard ratio decreased markedly with increasing follow-up time.Although falls are not included as an input variable, FRAX captures a component of risk for future falls and outperforms falls history with an extended follow-up time.

Original publication

DOI

10.1007/s00198-015-3295-7

Type

Journal article

Journal

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

01/2016

Volume

27

Pages

267 - 274

Addresses

NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre, University of Southampton and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Tremona Road, Southampton, UK.

Keywords

Femur Neck, Humans, Incidence, Risk Assessment, Risk Factors, Follow-Up Studies, Prospective Studies, Accidental Falls, Age Factors, Bone Density, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Middle Aged, Sweden, Male, Osteoporotic Fractures