Risk Management

Assessing Osteoporosis Risk: Insight From Your Peers

Approximately 10 million individuals in the United States have osteoporosis, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.1 An additional 44 million people have low bone density, putting them at increased risk for osteoporosis.1 

Identifying those at risk for osteoporosis, fractures, or falls is key. Rheumatology Consultant has been collecting your input on how you assess for these risks. Here are some highlights of what you have shared.

We first asked about which clinical assessment risk tool you use to assess osteoporosis risk among your patients. Here is the breakdown of your responses:

Clinical Assessment Risk Tools

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) recommends the use of the Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX) assessment for certain patients. Patients who take glucocorticoids (GC) to treat rheumatic diseases have a higher risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. The ACR recommends the use of the FRAX assessment for patients with GC-induced osteoporosis who are older than age 40 years within 6 months of the start of GC treatment, along with GC correction and bone mineral density tests. 

We asked whether you use FRAX for your patients who have low bone mass from taking GCs, and you said:


We next asked you about the demographics of the patients you assess for osteoporosis risk.

A new study2 presented during the ACR annual meeting, ACR Convergence, showed that, despite existing recommendations, screening for osteoporosis via dual energy x-ray absorptiometry among men aged 70 years or older is uncommon. Do you screen for osteoporosis among men aged 70 years or older? Here is how you responded:

Screening Men for Osteoporosis

In the 2020 update3 of their guideline on the diagnosis and management of postmenopausal osteoporosis, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American College of Endocrinology listed several factors that increase individuals’ risk of falls and fractures. When asked which factor you find is the most common cause of falls and fractures among your patients, you responded with the following:

Fall and Fracture

Thank you for your poll responses.

How does your assessment of osteoporosis, fracture, or fall risk compare with that of your peers? Share your input by filling out the feedback form below.



1. Osteoporosis fast facts. National Osteoporosis Foundation. Accessed on December 3, 2020. https://cdn.nof.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Osteoporosis-Fast-Facts.pdf 

2. Vu K, Ohadugha C, Dao K, Nayfe R, Mangano A. Improving osteoporosis screening in men at a resident-run primary care clinic: a quality improvement project. Study presented at: American College of Rheumatology Convergence 2020; November 5-9, 2020; Virtual. Accessed December 3, 2020. https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/improving-osteoporosis-screening-in-men-at-a-resident-run-primary-care-clinic-a-quality-improvement-project/ 

3. Camacho PM, Petak SM, Binkley N, et al. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists/American College of Endocrinology clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis—2020 update. Endocr Pract. 2020; 26(5):564-570. doi:10.4158/GL-2020-0524


For more insight into osteoporosis, visit the Resource Center.