Areal bone mineral density is commonly categorised into normal bone mineral density, osteopaenia and osteoporosis on the basis of nominal thresholds recommended by the World Health Organization. However, bone mineral density is a continuous variable and there is a strong association between lower bone mineral density and greater risk for fracture. Fracture risk is not negligible in persons with moderate deficits in bone mineral density. Although absolute fracture risk is greatest for individuals with osteoporosis, more than half of the fractures arise from those with osteopaenia, and even normal bone mineral density, a probable consequence of greater numbers of individuals at risk in these categories. However, areal bone mineral density measurements used commonly in clinical practice do not detect differences in bone tissue properties, geometry and microarchitecture, which contribute to bone strength. Newer technologies such as high-resolution peripheral computed tomography have the advantage of assessing trabecular and cortical components of bone separately, in addition to geometric characteristics of the skeleton. Quantifying these parameters and considering clinical risk factors that affect fracture risk independent of bone quantity and quality, may better discriminate between high- and low-risk individuals. This would improve the decision-making for targeting appropriate interventions, either lifestyle or medication, to reduce thepublic health burden of fractures.
Field of Research
Socio Economic Objective
920116 Skeletal System and Disorders (incl. Arthritis)
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