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Bone Density (DEXA)

What is a DEXA scan?
Bone densitometry is a way of measuring bone density, which is a method of estimating the strength of bones and the likelihood of bone fractures with minimal or no trauma. Dual Energy X-ray Absorpitometry (DEXA) uses a weak form of X-ray to rapidly scan the bones, and converts this information to numbers indicating bone density (referred to as a T-score).

Who should have a DEXA scan?
DEXA is used most often to diagnose osteoporosis in women, though men also suffer from fractures related to osteoporosis as well. Bone density testing is strongly recommended for anyone with the following conditions:

General Conditions

  • Age 65 or older
  • Anyone considering osteoporosis therapy
  • Anyone on prolonged hormone replacement therapy
  • Loss of more than two inches in height since high school
  • Postmenopausal

Specific Medical Conditions

  • Eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia)
  • Fractures of the spine, wrist, or hip
  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Kidney disease
  • Long-term steroid use
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

Information resources to learn more about Osteoporosis

The Facts about Osteoporosis

  • Almost 44 million people have or are at risk of developing osteoporosis.
  • Seven percent of women become unable to care for themselves after suffering an osteoporotic fracture.
  • One half of all postmenopausal women are affected by osteoporosis.
  • After the age of 50 a woman's risk of developing osteoporosis doubles every five years.
  • The risk of hip-fracture is 2-3 times higher for women than for men; spinal osteoporosis is 8 times more likely to affect women than men.
  • One-half of those who could walk unaided before a hip fracture cannot do so afterwards.
Last Updated Wednesday, May 29, 2024 - 04:16 AM.