Dr Ayse Zengin

Research Field: Epidemiology

There is an increase in the ageing population worldwide, and so the number of people with weak
bones will also increase, with a corresponding rise in bone fractures. Some ethnic populations are
more susceptible to fracture than others, and it’s currently unknown why, or how to best determine
who is more at risk.
Dr Zengin’s research focuses on identifying the ethnic differences in skeletal health that affect
fracture risk. By using various bone imaging devices, her research has shown that a “one size fits all”
approach must not be used when predicting fracture risk in different ethnic populations. The DXA
bone scanner is commonly used to measure bone mineral density to predict fracture risk; however,
these predictions do not match ethnic patterns in global fracture rates. Using advanced bone
scanners, her work has shown that other components of bone strength – composition, geometry
and mechanics – must be measured to accurately predict fracture risk.
Identifying the ethnic-specific factors will help to provide appropriate preventive/management
interventions, in turn decreasing the economic and health care burden, not only in Australia but at a
global level.