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Community-based screening can substantially reduce hip fractures in women

Published: 18 December 2017
Scoop Study
Community-based screening can substantially reduce hip fractures in women

The risk of hip fractures in women could be reduced through a community screening programme, a new study has shown.

Published in The Lancet and involving scientists from the University of Southampton, the study reveals that a simple questionnaire, combined with bone mineral density measurements for some and a fracture risk score, would help identify those at risk of hip fracture.

It led to a 28 per cent reduction in hip fractures over five years in older women who took part in the screening programme.

Researchers involved in the study, known as SCOOP (SCreening for Osteoporosis in Older women for the Prevention of fracture), believe the low-cost strategy could prevent thousands of women from suffering hip fractures each year.

Nicholas Harvey, Professor of Rheumatology and Clinical Epidemiology at the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, and a co-author of the study, said: “This is the first trial to show that a community-screening approach based upon the tools used is feasible, and importantly, effective at reducing the risk of these devastating fractures. We estimate that if the strategy could be implemented exactly as in the SCOOP study, it could prevent up to 8,000 hip fractures per year.”

The large multicentre UK-based study was a collaboration primarily between the Universities of East Anglia and Sheffield and involved researchers at the Universities of Southampton, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and York, and over 100 primary care practices.  It was funded by the Medical Research Council and Arthritis Research UK.

It involved 12,483 eligible women aged 70 to 85 years, identified from primary care and used a tool called FRAX, developed by the University of Sheffield, which predicts the probability of a hip fracture or a major osteoporotic fracture (a hip, spine, upper arm or lower arm fracture), to identify older women at high risk.


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