Elderly people would soon be able to predict their bone fracture risk with just a click of a button.
Scientists at Sydney-based Garvan Institute of Medical Research have created web-based tool called 'www.fractureriskcalculator.com', through which people over 60 years of age would be able to predict their individual fracture risk.
They have developed the tool with the help of the data from the Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study accumulated over 17 years, including a combination of five factors such as sex, age, weight, history of prior fracture, number of falls in the past 12 months and bone mineral density.
"We have kept our model simple and easy to use. In addition to the web-based version, it is also available on paper as a nomogram, a simple graph which is easy for a clinician to complete," said Tuan Nguyen, lead researcher and associate professor at Garvan Institute of Medical Research.
The tool was developed in two stages. First, people from the Dubbo epidemiological study were separated into 'low risk' and 'high risk categories where their risk factors were combined in a statistical model, allowing scientists to derive the weighting for each risk factor.
For these analyses, the Dubbo population was split into two halves. Scientists derived the prognostic model from one half and then applied the model to the other half to ensure that it accurately predicted their fracture risk.
The tool has the potential to allow individuals to make informed judgments about their actual risk and take steps to reduce that risk.
The paper appears online today in the prestigious international journal, Osteoporosis International.