WASHINGTON, June 24, 2021 – As recent conversations over race-based corrections to clinical algorithms have raised questions about the scientific data doctors rely on to treat their patients across a variety of medical fields, the American Society for Bone and Mineral Health (ASBMR) has formed a task force to examine the inclusion of race and/or ethnicity in the diagnosis and subsequent management of individual bone fracture risk in patients.
The ASBMR – the world’s leading scientific organization for bone health – is committed to ensuring that racial bias does not impact the diagnosis and treatment of individuals at risk for bone fractures caused by osteoporosis. As part of that commitment, the Task Force on Clinical Algorithms for Fracture Risk is comprised of top experts in the field as well as ethnic and racial health disparities.
The Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX®) is a widely used calculation tool that estimates the 10-year risk of major osteoporotic fracture and 10-year risk of hip fracture for both men and women on the basis of their risk-factor profile. Calculations are country specific, and the significance of ethnicity and race vary by location.
“We know that racism and social determinants can play a role in health and health care decisions as much as ancestry,” said Sherri-Ann M. Burnett-Bowie, M.D., MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a Clinical Investigator in the Massachusetts General Hospital Endocrine Unit and Co-chair of the ASBMR Task Force on Clinical Algorithms for Fracture Risk. “As clinicians and researchers, we need to take a fresh look at whether it is appropriate to use race or ethnicity in our assessments for patient fracture risk.”
The ASBMR Task Force on Clinical Algorithms for Fracture Risk is charged with reviewing the latest evidence to determine if current approaches on differentiating fracture risk based on race and/or ethnicity are valid. Specific charges of the task force are to:
- Discuss the constructs of what is meant by “race” and “ethnicity”;
- Review the data currently being utilized to support the use of race and/or ethnicity as a variable in the US version of FRAX;
- Make a recommendation as to whether current approaches for determining fracture risk based on race and/or ethnicity in the US version of FRAX are supported by available evidence
- Recommend a research agenda to better understand and define requirements for fracture risk prediction tools (development and validation) in the context of diverse populations.
- Identify key questions and research gaps.
“Our goal is to ensure that we are working toward equitable treatment of patients and the tools we use should reflect that mission,” said Jane A. Cauley, Dr.PH, Distinguished Professor and Executive Vice Chair, Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH), University of Pittsburgh and co-chair of the task force.
The task force will present an update of its work at the ASBMR Annual Meeting in October 2021.
The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) is the leading professional, scientific and medical society established to bring together clinical and experimental scientists involved in the study of bone and mineral metabolism. ASBMR encourages and promotes the study of this expanding field through annual scientific meetings, the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research® and JBMR Plus, the Primer on Metabolic Bone Diseases and Disorders of Mineral Metabolism, advocacy and interaction with government agencies and related societies. To learn more about upcoming meetings and publications, please visit www.asbmr.org.