Predicting the likelihood of bone fractures in older men

Fractures in the vertebrae of the spine and calcification in a blood vessel called the abdominal aorta can both be visualized through the same spinal imaging test. A new study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research that included 5,365 older men indicates that each of these measures are linked with a higher risk of developing hip and other fractures.

Investigators found that including both measures compared with including only abdominal aortic calcification or only vertebral fractures improved the ability to predict which men were most likely to experience a hip or other fracture in the future.

“Both abdominal aortic calcification and a prevalent vertebral fracture can be simultaneously and quickly detected on standard radiographs or lateral spine bone density images, and this may aid fracture risk assessment in older men who have either or both risk factors,” said lead author John T. Schousboe, MD, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota and Park Nicollet Clinic & HealthPartners Institute.