Numerous sources of data, including The Surgeon General's Report on Osteoporosis, indicate that osteoporosis remains seriously under-diagnosed and undertreated. As a result, US women experience hundreds of thousands of preventable hip and other serious fractures often leading to pain, disability, deformity and premature death. Simultaneously, patient and physician concerns about the safety of medications have increased. New guidelines for therapy stress the importance of identifying those women at high risk of fracture for whom the benefits of treatment far outweigh the risks of therapy as well as identifying women at very low risk for fracture for whom medication should not be prescribed. Clinicians, therefore, must become competent in the use of FRAX, a new tool provided by the World Health Organization to quantitate fracture risk for individual patients and use current clinical guidelines to make informed treatment decisions and to help patients accurately weigh the risks and benefits of treatment.
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