Why is bone density testing important?
As we age, our bones can weaken, especially in postmenopausal women and men age 50 and over. A bone density test allows your physician or geriatrician to measure your bone strength, diagnose osteoporosis, and make recommendations if your bone density is lower than normal.
Who should have a bone density test?
- Postmenopausal women under 65 with risk factors for osteoporosis
- All women 65 and older
- Men 50 and older with risk factors for osteoporosis
- All men 70 and older
How is a bone density test performed?
A bone density test uses X-rays to measure the grams of calcium and other bone material packed into a small segment of bone. The most common areas on your body to be tested are the spine, hip, and forearm. The test generally takes no longer than 10 minutes to complete
What do the results mean?
- Normal: Healthy bone density
- Low (osteopenia): Beginning stages of bone loss
- Osteoporosis: Bones are weak, porous, and have an increased chance of breaks