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Genetics help predict the risk of non-vertebral factures


Predicting the likelihood of an osteoporotic fracture is done using clinical risk factors; however, genetic factors are also known to be important, and Lee et al. recently looked at whether genetic profiling data can increase the accuracy of those predictions.

The authors looked at 39 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for any association with known osteoporosis traits such as bone mineral density (BMD), vertebral and non-vertebral fracture and fracture at any site. A genetic risk score was determined using five models and was based on 21 SNPs in 19 genes associated with the traits related to osteoporosis.

Analysis showed that the genetic risk score was significantly associated with BMD (P<0.001 to P=0.018), non-vertebral fracture and BMD (P=0.017 to 0.045) and with any fracture and BMD at the femoral neck (P=0.049). No association was seen between the genetic risk score and vertebral fractures.

Editor’s comment: Genetic risk score was associated with BMD before and after adjustment for clinical risk factors, and the area under the receptor-operator characteristics curve for non-vertebral fracture somewhat improved. These results suggest that genetic risk score might have an additional value when added to clinical risk factors for prediction of non-vertebral fracture.

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