, 8:118
Date: 30 Jan 2013

Osteoporosis among older Saudis: risk of fractures and unmet needs

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Using FRAX®, this study aimed at estimating 10-years probability of osteoporosis (OP)-related fractures and identifies those in need of OP treatment among primary care attendees in Saudi Arabia. Of those aged ≥ 60 years, 14.4 and 18.4 % scored probabilities for major and hip fractures respectively suggesting OP treatment. Predictors for receiving OP screening included the presence of multiple clinical risk factors, occurrence of fragility fractures and physicians recommendation.


This study aimed at estimating the 10-years probability of osteoporosis (OP)-related fractures and identifying those in need of OP treatment among Saudi adults attending primary care centers (PHCs) in Al Hassa, Saudi Arabia, using FRAX® calculator and to determine factors possibly influence receiving of OP screening among them.

Subjects and Methods

A total of 1,251 Saudi aged ≥ 40 years, of both genders, were recruited from four urban and three rural randomly selected PHCs. All were subjected to anthropometric measurements followed by a personal interview with structured questionnaire to asses OP clinical risk factors (CRFs) and possible correlates for receiving OP screening. Ten-year probabilities for major osteoporotic and hip fractures were calculated using the Lebanese version of FRAX® calculator.


Of participants aged ≥ 60 years, 14.4 and 18.4 % were identified with probability scores for major osteoporotic and hip fractures respectively, suggesting OP treatment. Out of sampled population, 16.1 % received OP screening. The presence of ≥two OP CRFs (odds ratio OR = 4.45), being aware of OP (OR = 2.89), physician recommendation of OP screening (OR = 2.01), and history of fragility fracture (OR = 1.92) were all possible positive predictors for receiving OP screening.


A sizable portion of the sampled older Saudis especially those aged ≥ 60 years are at high risk for OP-related fractures indicative to receive OP treatment. Occurrence of fragility fractures, multiplicity of CRFs and physician’s recommendations are significant positive predictors to receive OP screening among them.