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Prevalence of osteoporosis in the Italian population and main risk factors: results of BoneTour Campaign.



BoneTour is a campaign conducted throughout the Italian territory for the assessment of Italian people bone status and for the prevention of osteoporosis.


A total of 7305 sequential subjects of both sexes were screened, collecting clinical data through the FRAX™ questionnaire, and measuring heel bone stiffness by Quantitative Ultrasonography (QUS). The 10-year risk for hip and major osteoporotic fractures was calculated taking into account personal or family history of fragility fracture, smoking, alcohol abuse, rheumatoid arthritis, prolonged steroids assumption. Additional risk factors were evaluated, including early menopause, poor sunlight exposure, low dietary calcium intake, physical inactivity, number of pregnancies, months of lactation, tobacco cigarettes smoked per year, specific causes of secondary osteoporosis. Through a correlation study, the influence of each factor on the development of osteoporosis was analyzed.


As many as 18 % of women suffer from osteoporosis, as defined by QUS T-score. The calculation of FRAX™ confirmed the weight of the already known risk factors. The correlation study revealed the significance of some additional factors, such as hyperthyroidism, nephrolithiasis, Crohn disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, poor sun exposure, and oophorectomy before age 50.


The high prevalence of secondary osteoporosis in the Italian population clearly indicates the importance of additional risk factors not yet included in the FRAX™ algorithm, for which preventive measures should be considered. Screening campaigns may allow both early diagnosis and access to treatment.

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