Below you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

If you have any other questions, email us on info@osentia.co.uk

About fragility fractures

A fragility fracture is a fracture resulting from a fall from a standing height or less (or an equivalent impact).

Bones are living tissue, which continue to remodel, reaching peak bone mass in a person in their late 20s. However, as people age, bones start to lose their strength and resilience making them more susceptible to fractures.

About the Osentia Test

The kit contains instructions for use, a questionnaire order form, a collection bag for the nail sample, an envelope for the nail clipping and a pre-paid envelope to post the order form and sample collection bag back to the laboratory for analysis.

Either a fingernail or toenail clipping can be used to assess your fragility risk, as long as the nail sample provided is at least 2mm in depth and 5mm long. To help you with this, we have included a life-size nail sample size diagram in the ‘Instructions for Use’ guide.

Soaking your nails in warm water will help soften them, enabling you to clip them more easily.

Yes, you must remove any nail varnish, gel polish, acrylics, oils or moisturisers from your nail before collecting a sample. This is because the ingredients in these products may affect the test results.

One nail clipping is sufficient to conduct the Osentia test. However, multiple provide backup samples in the event of an unreadable specimen.

Completing the request form

We do not need any information about your current medication to perform the Osentia test. Should you wish, you may list the medication you were taking at the time you collected your sample for your own records.

This allows us to calculate your age precisely. As age is an important risk factor for bone fracture, this information is essential for evaluating your results correctly; it is important that you disclose it.

We ask for your signature as proof of your consent to undertake the Osentia test.

The verification slip is not required for the testing process; it is simply for your records and peace of mind.

If you are unable to fit all your details onto the request form, please write them onto a separate piece of paper and attach this to the form. Please be sure to sign and date the added sheet of paper too.

If you have damaged your form, please contact us at info@osentia.co.uk for guidance.

Packing and posting nail clipping sample

We require your nail clipping sample in the small re-sealable collection bag provided, marked with the unique reference number sticker from your questionnaire form.

We also need the questionnaire form. However, please make sure you cut off the top part of the questionnaire form at the dotted line, and retain this for your own reference should you need to get in touch with us.

All items to be despatched to Osentia will need to be put in the pre-paid envelope provided.

There is no cost for postage if you use the envelope provided in your Osentia test as this is pre-paid.

It is not necessary to keep proof of postage, although should you require it for peace of mind, please see your Post Office.

If you have not heard from us after seven working days from the postage of your sample please contact us at info@osentia.co.uk for guidance.

Interpreting your result

Your results will be provided by email or post depending on which method you select on your questionnaire form. If you have not received your results within 7 working days of posting the sample please contact us at info@osentia.co.uk for guidance.

If you are unable to understand the results, please contact us at info@osentia.co.uk for guidance. Alternatively, contact your health professional.

If you wish to speak to a health professional about your Osentia results, we advise you to take your results letter with you, as this will explain to them what the test is for. If your pharmacist or GP/doctor has any queries regarding the validity of the results we have provided, please ask them to visit the Osentia® website or contact us at info@osentia.co.uk  for further information.

We would be more than happy to send another copy of your report. Please contact us at info@osentia.co.uk with your unique reference number to arrange this.

About Fragility Fracture

Fragility fracture is a fracture that occurs with minimal impact such as a fall from standing height or less. It is when an event has caused a fracture that would not be expected to cause a fracture in a healthy adult. It occurs when bones lose their strength and resilience are more likely to fracture. It is sometimes called the ‘silent disease’, as there are usually no tell-tale symptoms until the first break occurs.

Bone tissue is alive and constantly changes through life to ensure it remains as healthy as possible. However, as we age our bones start to lose their strength and elasticity making us more susceptible to fractures from weakened bones. People who have had one fracture are at greater risk of another – around 23% of secondary fractures occur within a year of the first fracture.1

However, there are other factors that can also contribute to the development of weak bones including family history, lifestyle choices and certain medical conditions and medications:

  • Family members with osteoporosis may have an increased chance of developing this weak bones
  • Poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and eating disorders may increase risk
  • Medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, coeliac disease and hyperthyroidism can also have an effect
  • Treatments such as glucocorticoid steroids, certain breast or prostate cancer therapies and anti-epileptic drugs
  • Menopause

There are rarely any symptoms associated with weakened bones, which is why this condition often remains undiagnosed until the first fracture. Therefore, it is important to identify the risk early to allow you to take steps to help reduce the likelihood of fracture and potentially developing weak bones.

The food that we eat has an effect on the health of our bones, while regular exercise can help build and maintain bone strength.

Combining a nutrient-rich diet of protein, fruit and vegetables with regular weight bearing exercise such as walking, jogging, Pilates and muscle strengthening exercises (i.e. exercising with weights) can help minimise the risk of developing fragile bones.

A sufficient intake of calcium, which can be found in milk, cheese, green leafy vegetables, bread and nuts, and vitamin D, found in fish and eggs, is important to strengthen bones. The daily recommended allowance for adults is 700mg of calcium and 10mcg of vitamin D. However, if your diet is deficient in calcium and vitamin D, you can use supplements bought from your local pharmacy or health food shop.