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Angela Smith MP underwent a fracture risk assessment in Parliament this week to raise awareness amongst constituents of bone fractures and osteoporosis. These conditions are a major health concern in Sheffield Hillsborough, as estimates show that between 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men will suffer a fracture after the age of 50 .

Many fractures are caused by osteoporosis, a long-term medical condition which significantly increases the risk of fragility fractures by reducing bone mineral density. Each year there are around 70,000 hip fractures, 50,000 forearm fractures and 40,000 spinal fractures which cost the NHS approximately £1.8bn .

Angela Smith MP took part in a new and innovative fracture risk assessment called FRAX®, which has been developed by the World Health Organisation. FRAX is a web-based tool which can evaluate the 10-year probability of suffering a hip and osteoporotic fracture based on answers to a simple online questionnaire. The event was organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Osteoporosis Group.

The FRAX assessment only takes a few minutes to complete, and can help identify whether someone has a low risk of fracture, or whether they may require further assessment and monitoring or should be on treatment to increase their bone mineral density. Identifying people with an increased risk of suffering an osteoporotic fracture is vital so that appropriate treatment can be given to increase bone mineral density and strengthen bones.

Angela Smith MP said: “Fractures can have a devastating impact on people’s lives, particularly the elderly who can loose their independence and their home following a debilitating hip fracture. So it is vitally important that people with an increased risk of hip or osteoporotic fracture are getting the treatment they need to strengthen their bones and hopefully prevent a future fracture from ever occurring.

“The FRAX tool is a quick and easy way of predicting fracture risk. Anyone can do the test online by typing FRAX into Google and completing the online assessment. If you are worried about fractures or osteoporosis, or that a friend or family member may be at risk, you should visit your GP.”


Notes to Editors

• The FRAX tool has been developed by the World Health Organisation to evaluate fracture risk of patients. It is based on individual patient models that integrate the risks associated with clinical risk factors as well as bone mineral density at the femoral neck.
• The FRAX models have been developed from studying population-based cohorts from Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. The FRAX algorithms give the 10-year probability of fracture. The output is a 10-year probability of hip fracture and the 10-year probability of a major osteoporotic fracture (clinical spine, forearm, hip or shoulder fracture).
• The online FRAX risk assessment tool can be accessed at
• The All-Party Parliamentary Osteoporosis Group was established to raise awareness of osteoporosis in Parliament. The National Osteoporosis Society provides the secretariat to the Group.

Issued : 27 October 2008

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