Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Method for assessing hand bone density may identify those at high risk of hip fractures

Date:
November 19, 2012
Source:
Karolinska Institutet
Summary:
A new study shows that a technique for measuring bone density called digital X-ray radiogrammetry (or DXR) used on standard hand radiographs can help to identify patients with a higher risk of hip fracture. The researchers believe that DXR, which is fully comparable with other, more costly methods, can be used preventively to identify people in the risk zone for osteoporosis – a disease estimated to effect some 200 million women worldwide.

A new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows, that a technique for measuring bone density called digital X-ray radiogrammetry (or DXR) used on standard hand radiographs can help to identify patients with a higher risk of hip fracture. The researchers believe that DXR, which is fully comparable with other, more costly methods, can be used preventively to identify people in the risk zone for osteoporosis -- a disease estimated to effect some 200 million women worldwide.

Related Articles


Each year, approximately 1.7 million hip fractures occur worldwide (about 18,000 only in Sweden), mainly in elderly people and women with osteoporosis. A hip fracture can be particularly serious for the elderly; it often entails lengthy rehabilitation and leaves many patients unable to lead an independent life. Moreover, between 10 and 20 per cent of sufferers die from complications. Apart from the human suffering they cause, hip fractures are also very costly to the healthcare services in the amount of care they demand.

"If we can identify people with osteoporosis and treat them with drugs, we can reduce the risk of hip fracture," says principal investigator, Associate Professor Torkel Brismar of Karolinska Institutet's Department of Clinical Sciences, Intervention and Technology. "Our research shows that DXR is a technique that lends itself well to this, maybe at general health check-ups, or screenings, for example, or when people seek treatment for a suspected hand or wrist fracture."

For the present study, which is published in the scientific journal European Radiology, the researchers analysed digital hand X-rays taken at three hospitals in Stockholm, Sweden, between 2000 and 2008. Their databank included pictures from over 8,000 men and women aged forty years and up. They used DXR to assess bone density in the hand, and by searching in the National Board of Health and Welfare fracture registry they were able to study the link between bone density in the hand and the risk of hip fracture.

Analysis of the sub-group of 122 patients who had suffered a post-X-ray hip fracture showed that they had significantly lower bone density than those who had not had a hip fracture, a result that held up also when adjusted for age. The DXR technique uses a normal X-ray of the hand to analyse the thickness and texture (i.e. small variations in density) of the metacarpal bones. The analysis is automatic and includes around 1,000 measurements. The standard method of measuring bone density is currently DXA (dual-energy X-ray absorbtiometry).

In this study, the researchers showed that DXR is at least as effective as DXA, which means that the former might one day be an important feature of osteoporosis examinations (e.g. as part of a general screening). Several pilot projects are underway in several counties to ascertain whether DXR screening of bone density is a useful way of preventing hip fractures.

The study was financed with ALF funds (provided through the agreement on medical training and research) and also a grant from the Stockholm County Council. The material was analysed free of charge by DXR-software developer Sectra, which also employs two of the study's co-authors.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Karolinska Institutet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. L. Wilczek, J. Kδlvesten, J. Algulin, O. Beiki, T. B. Brismar. Digital X-ray radiogrammetry of hand or wrist radiographs can predict hip fracture risk—a study in 5,420 women and 2,837 men. European Radiology, 2012; DOI: 10.1007/s00330-012-2706-9

Cite This Page:

Karolinska Institutet. "Method for assessing hand bone density may identify those at high risk of hip fractures." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121119094403.htm>.
Karolinska Institutet. (2012, November 19). Method for assessing hand bone density may identify those at high risk of hip fractures. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121119094403.htm
Karolinska Institutet. "Method for assessing hand bone density may identify those at high risk of hip fractures." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121119094403.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) — Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) — Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — The World Health Organizations says TB numbers rose in 2013, but it's partly due to better detection and more survivors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins