New approach predicts the risk of fractures in older men

Fractures in the vertebrae of the spine and calcifications in a blood vessel called the abdominal aorta can both be visualized by the same imaging test of the spine.

A new study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, which included 5,365 older men, shows that any of these measures are associated with a higher risk of developing hip and other fractures.

Researchers found that including both measures, compared to including only abdominal aorta calcification or only vertebral fractures, improved their ability to predict which men are most likely to develop a hip or other fracture in the future.

Both the calcification of the abdominal aorta and a prevalent vertebral body fracture can be identified simultaneously and quickly on standard radiographs or images of the bone density of the lateral spine. This can aid in assessing fracture risk in older men with one or both risk factors. “

John T. Schousboe, MD, PhD, Study Director, University of Minnesota and Park Nicollet Clinic & HealthPartners Institute

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