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01.03.2012 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2012 Open Access

Osteoporosis International 3/2012

Calibration of FRAX ® 3.1 to the Dutch population with data on the epidemiology of hip fractures

Osteoporosis International > Ausgabe 3/2012
A. Lalmohamed, P. M. J. Welsing, W. F. Lems, J. W. G. Jacobs, J. A. Kanis, H. Johansson, A. De Boer, F. De Vries



The FRAX tool has been calibrated to the entire Dutch population, using nationwide (hip) fracture incidence rates and mortality statistics from the Netherlands. Data used for the Dutch model are described in this paper.


Risk communication and decision making about whether or not to treat with anti-osteoporotic drugs with the use of T-scores are often unclear for patients. The recently developed FRAX models use easily obtainable clinical risk factors to estimate an individual's 10-year probability of a major osteoporotic fracture and hip fracture that is useful for risk communication and subsequent decision making in clinical practice. As of July 1, 2010, the tool has been calibrated to the total Dutch population. This paper describes the data used to develop the current Dutch FRAX model and illustrates its features compared to other countries.


Age- and sex-stratified hip fracture incidence rates (LMR database) and mortality rates (Dutch national mortality statistics) for 2004 and 2005 were extracted from Dutch nationwide databases (patients aged 50+ years). For other major fractures, Dutch incidence rates were imputed, using Swedish ratios for hip to osteoporotic fracture (upper arm, wrist, hip, and clinically symptomatic vertebral) probabilities (age- and gender-stratified). The FRAX tool takes into account age, sex, body mass index (BMI), presence of clinical risk factors, and bone mineral density (BMD).


Fracture incidence rates increased with increasing age: for hip fracture, incidence rates were lowest among Dutch patients aged 50–54 years (per 10,000 inhabitants: 2.3 for men, 2.1 for women) and highest among the oldest subjects (95–99 years; 169 of 10,000 for men, 267 of 10,000 for women). Ten-year probability of hip or major osteoporotic fracture was increased in patients with a clinical risk factor, lower BMI, female gender, a higher age, and a decreased BMD T-score. Parental hip fracture accounted for the greatest increase in 10-year fracture probability.


The Dutch FRAX tool is the first fracture prediction model that has been calibrated to the total Dutch population, using nationwide incidence rates for hip fracture and mortality rates. It is based on the original FRAX methodology, which has been externally validated in several independent cohorts. Despite some limitations, the strengths make the Dutch FRAX tool a good candidate for implementation into clinical practice.

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