Skeleton Pirate

Skeleton Pirate
Artist: LindaB


Have you experienced, or read about, negative, and even dangerous, side effects from Fosamax (alendronate), Boniva (ibandronate), Actonel (risedronate), and other bisphosphonates prescribed for osteoporosis? If you have, then rest assured there is a safe, effective treatment for this condition. Strontium, primarily in the form of strontium citrate, is taken orally once a day.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

FRAX Accurately Identifies Women at Risk for Vertebral Fracture

By Will Boggs MD
December 01, 2014

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The WHO fracture risk assessment tool FRAX is better than lumbar spine and femoral neck T-scores at identifying women with vertebral fractures, researchers from Morocco report.

"An elevated FRAX score may be used as a screening tool to indicate bone mineral density (BMD) measurement and vertebral fracture assessment (VFA) at the same time," Dr. Abdellah El Maghraoui from Military Hospital Mohammed in Rabat, Morocco, told Reuters Health. "The cut-off of what is an elevated FRAX has to be determined in different populations."

"Vertebral fractures (VFs) are the most common type of osteoporotic fractures in older adults," Dr. Maghraoui explained. "It has been shown that VFs are usually asymptomatic (only one-fourth to one-third of these fractures come to medical attention). The identification of asymptomatic VFs is of primordial importance especially in patients without densitometric osteoporosis, a common situation where all experts agree to recommend treatment."

Dr. Maghraoui's team developed a Moroccan model based on FRAX and evaluated the performance of FRAX scores in comparison with BMD measurement in identifying women with prevalent asymptomatic vertebral fractures.

Their cross-sectional study included 908 menopausal women aged 50 years and older. Of these women, nearly a third had osteoporosis and 44% had osteopenia.

Vertebral fractures were present in 382 (42.1%) of women, the researchers report in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, online November 4.

FRAX without BMD provided the best method of predicting vertebral fracture in these women, and there was no improvement when BMD was added to the model.

A FRAX cutoff of 3%, for example, yielded 57% sensitivity, 78% specificity, 40% positive predictive value, and 2.68 positive likelihood ratio for predicting major fractures.

"The FRAX tool is not designed to examine the risk of asymptomatic vertebral fractions," the researchers say. "However, we performed this analysis because of the importance of this kind of fracture in the outcome of osteoporosis."

"A woman with elevated FRAX should be evaluated further: DXA with VFA, biological exams including vitamin D, iPTH, etc., and in some cases bone turnover markers," Dr. Maghraoui said. "Other factors not included in FRAX should be evaluated such as the risk of fall."

"VFA can easily be performed at the same time of bone mineral density (BMD) measurement, allowing integration of BMD and VF information in the clinical care of patients evaluated for osteoporosis," Dr. Maghraoui concluded. "Advantages of VFA compared with spine radiographs include greater patient convenience (VFA can be done in association with BMD testing by DXA), smaller dose of ionizing radiation, and lower cost."

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Wandering Skeleton

Wandering Skeleton
Artist: Joel Hoekstra

Osteoporotic Bone

Osteoporotic Bone

How Strontium Builds Bones

Strontium is a mineral that tends to accumulate in bone. Studies have shown that oral doses of strontium are a safe and effective way to prevent and reverse osteoporosis. Doses of 680 mg per day appear to be optimal. See my "For More Information About Strontium" links section.

Osteoporosis is caused by changes in bone production. In healthy young bones there is a constant cycle of new bone growth and bone removal. With age, more bone is removed and less new bone is produced. The bones become less dense and thus more fragile.

Scientists believe that strontium works in two ways. It may stimulate the replication of pre-osteoblasts, leading to an increase in osteoblasts (cells that build bone). Strontium also directly inhibits the activity of osteoclasts (cells that break down bone). The result is stronger bones.

When taking strontium, be sure to take 1200 mg calcium, 1000 IU vitamin D3, and 500 mg magnesium daily. It is best to take strontium late at night on an empty stomach. Calcium and strontium may compete with each other for absorption if taken together.