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Empirically based composite fracture prediction model from the Global Longitudinal Study of Osteoporosis in Postmenopausal Women (GLOW).

  • Author(s): FitzGerald, Gordon;
  • Compston, Juliet E;
  • Chapurlat, Roland D;
  • Pfeilschifter, Johannes;
  • Cooper, Cyrus;
  • Hosmer, David W;
  • Adachi, Jonathan D;
  • Anderson, Frederick A;
  • Díez-Pérez, Adolfo;
  • Greenspan, Susan L;
  • Netelenbos, J Coen;
  • Nieves, Jeri W;
  • Rossini, Maurizio;
  • Watts, Nelson B;
  • Hooven, Frederick H;
  • LaCroix, Andrea Z;
  • March, Lyn;
  • Roux, Christian;
  • Saag, Kenneth G;
  • Siris, Ethel S;
  • Silverman, Stuart;
  • Gehlbach, Stephen H
  • et al.

Published Web Location
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Several fracture prediction models that combine fractures at different sites into a composite outcome are in current use. However, to the extent individual fracture sites have differing risk factor profiles, model discrimination is impaired.


The objective of the study was to improve model discrimination by developing a 5-year composite fracture prediction model for fracture sites that display similar risk profiles.


This was a prospective, observational cohort study.


The study was conducted at primary care practices in 10 countries.


Women aged 55 years or older participated in the study.


Self-administered questionnaires collected data on patient characteristics, fracture risk factors, and previous fractures.

Main outcome measure

The main outcome is time to first clinical fracture of hip, pelvis, upper leg, clavicle, or spine, each of which exhibits a strong association with advanced age.


Of four composite fracture models considered, model discrimination (c index) is highest for an age-related fracture model (c index of 0.75, 47 066 women), and lowest for Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX) major fracture and a 10-site model (c indices of 0.67 and 0.65). The unadjusted increase in fracture risk for an additional 10 years of age ranges from 80% to 180% for the individual bones in the age-associated model. Five other fracture sites not considered for the age-associated model (upper arm/shoulder, rib, wrist, lower leg, and ankle) have age associations for an additional 10 years of age from a 10% decrease to a 60% increase.


After examining results for 10 different bone fracture sites, advanced age appeared the single best possibility for uniting several different sites, resulting in an empirically based composite fracture risk model.

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