Researchers have come up with a computational model that can calculate ‘skeletal age’ for personalized estimation of a person’s risk of bone fracture and premature death.
The skeletal age calculator will be made accessible to doctors and health professionals to better identify the persons who are at risk of a first bone fracture and subsequent fractures. Moreover, it will also be able to help estimate how fractures impact life expectancy.
Fracture Risk & Predicting It
One in two women and one in three men over 50 years of age are affected by bone fractures. For women, the lifetime risk of a hip fracture is equal to or higher than the risk of developing invasive breast cancer.
With each fracture, the risk of a future fracture increases two-fold. Besides, studies have shown that pre-existing fractures might increase the risk of premature death by almost 50 percent in the case of men and women.
The model calculator incorporates a person’s age, bone density, history of fractures, and other health conditions to calculate a personalized estimate of ‘skeletal age’.
The model quantifies the intricate transitions between fracture, re-fracture, and mortality. The skeletal age is defined as the age of an individual’s skeleton resulting from their risk factors for fracture.
Improving Bone Health
We can certainly hope the calculator to be a valuable tool for health professionals to help their patients with improved bone health. It might involve certain medications, increasing dietary calcium, getting enough vitamin D, and exercise.
It is never too early to consider the well-being of bone health. Ideally, a person should not wait for a bone fracture to take preventive actions. With the help of the calculator, a person can determine the skeletal age. If the skeletal age is higher than the actual age of the person, consulting a doctor is a great idea to assess the risks and efficiently managing them for improved bone health.