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Background: Genomics-based prediction could be useful since genome-wide genotyping costs less than many clinical tests. We tested whether machine learning methods could provide a clinically-relevant genomic prediction of quantitative ultrasound speed of sound (SOS) — a risk factor for osteoporotic fracture. Methods: We used 341,449 individuals from UK Biobank with SOS measures to develop genomically-predicted SOS (gSOS) using machine learning algorithms. We selected the optimal algorithm in 5,335 independent individuals and then validated it and its ability to predict incident fracture in an independent test dataset (N = 80,027). Finally, we explored whether genomic prescreening could complement a UK-based osteoporosis screening strategy, based on the validated tool FRAX. Results: gSOS explained 4.8-fold more variance in SOS than FRAX clinical risk factors (CRF) alone (r2 = 23% vs. 4.8%). A standard deviation decrease in gSOS, adjusting for the CRF-FRAX score was associated with a higher increased odds of incident major osteoporotic fracture (1,491 cases / 78,536 controls, OR = 1.91 [1.70-2.14], P = 10-28) than that for measured SOS (OR = 1.60 [1.50-1.69], P = 10-52) and femoral neck bone mineral density (147 cases / 4,594 controls, OR = 1.53 [1.27-1.83], P = 10-6). Individuals in the bottom decile of the gSOS distribution had a 3.25-fold increased risk of major osteoporotic fracture (P = 10-18) compared to the top decile. A gSOS-based FRAX score, identified individuals at high risk for incident major osteoporotic fractures better than the CRF-FRAX score (P = 10-14). Introducing a genomic prescreening step into osteoporosis screening in 4,741 individuals reduced the number of required clinical visits from 2,455 to 1,273 and the number of BMD tests from 1,013 to 473, while only reducing the sensitivity to identify individuals eligible for therapy from 99% to 95%. Interpretation: The use of genotypes in a machine learning algorithm resulted in a clinically relevant prediction of SOS and fracture, with potential to impact healthcare resource utilization.

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