Why BMD is not a good predictor of vertebral fracture

Experts suggest improvements to current guidelines

Bone mineral density (BMD), particularly lumbar BMD, might not be a reliable indicator of asymptomatic vertebral fragility fractures in postmenopausal women after all.

woman with osteoporosis

In a study of 1132 postmenopausal woman, Italian researchers found such fractures were common among women seen at an osteoporosis clinic — however only a minority had previously been diagnosed with vertebral fracture.

All participants underwent dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) to assess BMD and T-scores for the lumbar spine (L1-L4) and total femur.