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Dental X-rays can predict fractures
Date:12/6/2011

It is now possible to use dental X-rays to predict who is at risk of fractures, reveals a new study from researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy reported in the journal Nature Reviews Endocrinology.

In a previous study, researchers from the University of Gothenburg's Sahlgrenska Academy and Region Vstra Gtaland demonstrated that a sparse bone structure in the trabecular bone in the lower jaw is linked to a greater chance of having previously had fractures in other parts of the body.

X-rays investigates bone structure

The Gothenburg researchers have now taken this a step further with a new study that shows that it is possible to use dental X-rays to investigate the bone structure in the lower jaw, and so predict who is at greater risk of fractures in the future. Published in the journal Bone, the results were also mentioned in both Nature Reviews Endocrinology and the Wall Street Journal.

Linked to risk of fractures

"We've seen that sparse bone structure in the lower jaw in mid-life is directly linked to the risk of fractures in other parts of the body, later in life,"says Lauren Lissner, a researcher at the Institute of Medicine at the Sahlgrenska Academy.

Study started 1968

The study draws on data from the Prospective Population Study of Women in Gothenburg started in 1968. Given that this has now been running for over 40 years, the material is globally unique. The study included 731 women, who have been examined on several occasions since 1968, when they were 38-60 years old. X-ray images of their jaw bone were analysed in 1968 and 1980 and the results related to the incidence of subsequent fractures.

For the first 12 years fractures were self-reported during followup examinations. It is only since the 1980s that it has been possible to use medical registers to identify fractures. A total of 222 fractures were identified during the whole obs
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Contact: Lauren Lissner
Lauren.Lissner@medfak.gu.se
46-031-786-6847
University of Gothenburg
Source:Eurekalert  

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Dental X-rays can predict fractures
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