COVID-19 pandemic has dramatic impact on osteoporosis management, finds new global study

With FRAX fracture risk calculations down by 58% in April 2020 alone, it is estimated that within a 3-month period, more than 0.5 million patients have been excluded from risk assessment -- and many from necessary treatment for osteoporosis

Newswise — A new study published prior to World Osteoporosis Day finds that the COVID-19 pandemic, which has severely affected management of non-communicable diseases, is markedly impacting the management of osteoporosis as judged by access to online FRAX fracture risk assessments.1,2

Globally, usage of the Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX®) website was on average 58% lower in April than in February 2020.

FRAX is used to generate 10-year probabilities of fracture at the hip or major skeletal sites using clinical risk factors, with or without bone mineral density (BMD) values. FRAX calculators are available for 66 countries, representing well over 80% of the global population, and the tool is accessed by at least 228 countries/territories worldwide. Widely adopted within clinical guidelines for osteoporosis, FRAX is a key component in the initiation of targeted treatment to reduce the future burden of fractures.

Lead author, Professor Eugene McCloskey, Professor in Adult Bone Disease at the Department of Oncology and Metabolism, University of Sheffield, UK, stated: "As a global tool the FRAX website provides an excellent opportunity to explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on osteoporosis, a major non-communicable disease (NCD) with a significant impact on older adults worldwide."

"The findings of this study reveal that, since the pandemic was officially declared by the WHO on March 11, there has been a dramatic drop in FRAX usage, averaging 58% but ranging up to 96%, with two-thirds of the 66 countries/territories evaluated showing reductions by at least 50%."

The analysis of FRAX usage showed:

 

  • Over February-April 2020, the FRAX website recorded 460,495 sessions from 184 countries, with 210,656 sessions in February alone.
  • In March and April, the number of sessions fell by 23.1% and 58.3% respectively, compared to February 2020, a pattern not observed over the same period in 2019.
  • In Europe, the majority of countries (24/31, 77.4%) reduced usage by at least 50% in April, with Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Finland showing smaller reductions (range -2.85% to -44.1%).
  • In Latin America, all eight countries studied showed reductions greater than 50%, with the smallest reduction seen in Brazil (-54.5%) and the greatest seen in Ecuador (-76.9%).
  • There were smaller reductions in Asia than elsewhere, partly related to earlier and less-marked nadirs in some countries (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Vietnam).
  • There was no significant relationship between the reduction in FRAX usage and measures of disease burden such as COVID-attributed deaths per million of the population.

     

Metrics of FRAX usage captured by GoogleAnalytics (sessions rather than individual calculations) underestimate actual usage by about 30%, and additionally many FRAX assessments worldwide are conducted on bone densitometers, and were therefore not captured in the study.

As a result, it is estimated that approximately 175,000 patients were likely excluded from fracture risk assessment in April 2020, suggesting that over a 3-month period more than 0.5 million patients would be excluded from assessment, and a significant portion of those from necessary treatment.

Professor John Kanis, IOF Honorary President, Director of the Centre for Metabolic Bone Diseases at Sheffield and Professor at the Catholic University of Australia, stated: "The drastic reduction in FRAX usage underscores widespread concern that the COVID-19 pandemic is having a detrimental impact on the medium to long-term management and outcomes for many NCDs, with serious repercussions for individuals who are not able to access timely testing and treatment, including for osteoporosis."

"Availability and access to bone densitometry in many countries is low to begin with, and access to secondary care-based facilities such as Fracture Liaison Services has been further comprised or inhibited completely during the pandemic. We expect that FRAX, which can be undertaken remotely via telemedicine and has been shown to have a predictive value for fractures that is comparable to the use of bone density values alone, may be able to play a significant role in addressing this enormous backlog in assessments for osteoporosis."

###

References

1. McCloskey, E.V., Harvey, N.C., Johansson, H. et al. Global impact of COVID-19 on non-communicable disease management: descriptive analysis of access to FRAX fracture risk online tool for prevention of osteoporotic fractures. Osteoporos Int (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00198-020-05542-6

2. FRAX Fracture Risk Assessment Tool https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/FRAX/

About FRAX

FRAX® is a simple calculation tool that integrates clinical information in a quantitative manner to predict a 10-year probability of major osteoporotic fracture for both women and men in different countries. The tool was developed at the Centre for Metabolic Bone Diseases, University of Sheffield, UK in collaboration with international researchers. It assists primary health-care providers to better target people in need of interventions to reduce fracture risk, thus improving the allocation of health-care resources towards patients most likely to benefit from treatment. The FRAX calculator, freely available for use online, is available for 66 countries and in 34 languages. It is the most widely used risk assessment tool, incorporated into national and regional guidelines worldwide. https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/FRAX/

About IOF

The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is the world's largest nongovernmental organization dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and related musculoskeletal diseases. IOF members, including committees of scientific researchers as well as 260 patient, medical and research societies, work together to make fracture prevention and healthy mobility a worldwide heath care priority. https://www.osteoporosis.foundation @iofbonehealth

About World Osteoporosis Day

World Osteoporosis Day (WOD) is held annually on October 20th. The campaign calls for global action to fight osteoporosis and related fractures. http://www.worldosteoporosisday.org

SEE ORIGINAL STUDY




Filters close

Showing results

1120 of 4578
Released: 15-Jan-2021 1:30 PM EST
New England Journal of Medicine publishes COVID-19 treatment trial results
University of Texas at San Antonio

A clinical trial involving COVID-19 patients hospitalized at UT Health San Antonio and University Health, among roughly 100 sites globally, found that a combination of the drugs baricitinib and remdesivir reduced time to recovery, according to results published Dec. 11 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Released: 15-Jan-2021 12:40 PM EST
DNA test can quickly identify pneumonia in patients with severe COVID-19, aiding faster treatment
University of Cambridge

Researchers have developed a DNA test to quickly identify secondary infections in COVID-19 patients, who have double the risk of developing pneumonia while on ventilation than non-COVID-19 patients.

Released: 15-Jan-2021 12:30 PM EST
Fight CRC To Present Research Findings on The Impact of COVID-19 on the Colorectal Cancer Community at 2021 GI ASCO
Fight Colorectal Cancer

Fight Colorectal Cancer presents abstract at Gastrointestinal Cancer Symposium highlighting the need to address the barriers and opportunities for care within the colorectal cancer community during the COVID-19 pandemic

Released: 15-Jan-2021 12:25 PM EST
Technion to Award Honorary Doctorate to Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla
American Technion Society

Israel's Technion will award an honorary doctorate to Pfizer CEO and Chairman Dr. Albert Bourla, for leading the development of the novel vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The honorary doctorate will be conferred at the Technion Board of Governors meeting in November 2021.

Released: 15-Jan-2021 11:30 AM EST
UW researchers develop tool to equitably distribute limited vaccines
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and UW Health have developed a tool that incorporates a person’s age and socioeconomic status to prioritize vaccine distribution among people who otherwise share similar risks due to their jobs.

Released: 15-Jan-2021 11:20 AM EST
Will Covid-19 kill the high street once and for all?
University of Sheffield

The shift to home working during Covid-19, or ‘Zoomshock’, threatens the survival of local goods and services provided in city centres and business parks

14-Jan-2021 5:00 PM EST
AACI Partners With Federal Vaccine Panel to Promote Cancer Patient Health
Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI)

AACI was invited last summer to join the Vaccine Consultation Panel (VCP) alongside other leading health and science organizations in the U.S. Through the VCP, AACI has received periodic updates on the development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and participated in efforts to educate the cancer center community and the general public on the importance of widespread vaccine uptake.

Released: 15-Jan-2021 8:55 AM EST
The First Dose of the Pfizer Vaccine Gives About 50% COVID Protection, Not 91% Claimed by Those Who Want to Speed Up Immunization
Newswise

The NEJM paper actually states that the efficacy between the first and second doses was found to be 52 percent when given 21 days apart. After the second dose, the efficacy raises to 95 percent.

Released: 15-Jan-2021 8:20 AM EST
Houston Methodist study finds males of all ages more affected by COVID-19 than females
Houston Methodist

A new Houston Methodist study found males are more likely to test positive for COVID-19, have complications and die from the virus than females, independent of age. The peer-reviewed observational study appears in PLOS ONE, a multidisciplinary journal published by the Public Library of Science.

Released: 15-Jan-2021 8:20 AM EST
NIH Revises Treatment Guidelines for Ivermectin for the Treatment of COVID-19
Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC Alliance)

NIH Revises Treatment Guidelines for Ivermectin for the Treatment of COVID-19 Ivermectin is Now a Therapeutic Option for Doctors & Prescribers


Showing results

1120 of 4578

close
1.59778