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Lab test on fingernail could reveal fracture risk

By Jane Kirby

Published 10/10/2016

The Osentia screening test uses a fingernail clipping to predict the risk of fractures
The Osentia screening test uses a fingernail clipping to predict the risk of fractures

A test that uses a fingernail clipping to predict the risk of fractures is on sale via a high street pharmacy.

The Osentia screening test assesses somebody's risk of suffering fragility fractures - a common sign of osteoporosis.

People clip a fingernail or toenail, fill in a health questionnaire and post them off to a lab. Within seven days, they are sent a personal analysis which puts their risk of fracture at low, medium or high and suggests lifestyle improvements or whether a trip to a doctor is needed.

Some medics welcomed the £39.99 test but Fizz Thompson, clinical and operations director of the National Osteoporosis Society, cautioned: "We believe there is not enough evidence at this time to show that this new technology is as accurate as visiting your GP, having a discussion about risk factors and being referred for a DXA (bone) scan if appropriate".

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