The WHO Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX®) is an important new calculation tool, available free online at http://www.shef.ac.uk/FRAX/, that is being used by a steadily increasing number of physicians around the world to calculate a patient’s 10-year probability of fracture based on scientifically validated risk factors. The tool is country specific and can be used with or without the input of Bone Mineral Density (BMD) values.
Launched on June 1st, version 3.3 of the tool now includes models for the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and Tunisia, with two additional languages (Czech and Korean). An updated FAQ section provides considerable background and support information and the addition of a counter for each model (plus total usage) as of June 1, 2011, will help give an overview of how widely and frequently the tool is being used around the world.
The tool is now available for countries/territories in the following regions:
• Asia – China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore (3 models), Philippines, South Korea
• Europe – Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Italy, Malta, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK
• Middle East and Africa – Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia
• North America – Canada, US (4 models)
• Latin America – Argentina, Colombia, Mexico
• Oceania – Australia, New Zealand
Users may select their language of choice when utilizing the tool. Version 3.3 is available in the following 16 languages: English, Arabic, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Czech, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish. In addition, an additional DXA scanning model (DMS/Medilink) has been added to the calculator.
One of the founders of FRAX®, Dr Eugene McCloskey, Professor in Adult Bone Disease and Honorary Consultant at the Metabolic Bone Centre, University of Sheffield UK, said, “Previously, doctors tended to rely primarily on BMD values in making treatment decisions. FRAX® represents a real advance in that it helps clinicians make more informed treatment decisions based on multiple scientifically validated risk factors. The tool is continually being updated and improved. We are pleased that with version 3.3, patients in four additional countries are now able to benefit from improved fracture risk assessment.”
Widely accessible in various clinical settings
FRAX is also available on several types of densitometers and as an application on the i-Phone and i-Pad obtainable through the IOF at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/frax/id370146412?mt=8. The FRAX pad, an A5 leaflet, allows patients to input risk variables prior to medical consultation and is available from the IOF website at http://www.iofbonehealth.org/health-professionals/frax.html in several languages. Where computer access is limited, paper charts can be downloaded that give fracture probabilities for each index country (www.shef.ac.uk/FRAX) according to the number of clinical risk factors. Hand held calculators are used in Japan and Poland.
The FRAX website is designed and maintained by Richlyn Systems Ltd (http://www.richlyn.co.uk)
The ultimate aim of the clinician in the management of osteoporosis should be to reduce the risk of fractures. Treatment decisions must be made through good clinical judgement and through improved identification of patients at high risk. FRAX® is a simple web-tool that integrates clinical information in a quantitative manner to predict a 10-year probability of major osteoporotic fracture for both women and men in different countries. Developed at the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Metabolic Bone Diseases, University of Sheffield, UK, the tool assists primary health care providers to better target people in need of intervention, improving the allocation of healthcare resources towards patients most likely to benefit from treatment. The tool can be accessed free of charge at http://www.shef.ac.uk/FRAX/ or via iPhone Application.
The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is a nongovernmental umbrella organization dedicated to the worldwide fight against osteoporosis, the disease known as “the silent epidemic”. IOF’s members – committees of scientific researchers, patient, medical and research societies and industry representatives from around the world – share a common vision of a world without osteoporotic fractures. IOF now represents 195 societies in 92 locations around the world. http://www.iofbonehealth.org