Bone Density

A bone density test determines if you have osteoporosis – a disease that causes bones to become more fragile and more likely to break. The exam uses advanced X-ray techniques to detect changes after about a 1% change, where traditional x-ray shows after a 40% change. The bones that are most commonly tested are located in the forearm, hip and spine.

The risk factors for osteoporosis include:

  • Being female
  • Advanced age
  • Being Caucasian or Asian
  • Low bone mass
  • Being thin or having a small frame
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • A family history of osteoporosis
  • Estrogen deficiency as a result of menopause, especially early or surgically induced
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Use of certain medications
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Excessive alcohol intake

Who should consider a bone density exam?

  • all postmenopausal women under age 65 who have one or more additional risk factors for osteoporosis (in addition to being postmenopausal and female)
  • all women age 65 and older regardless of additional risk factors
  • postmenopausal women who sustain a fracture
  • women who are considering therapy for osteoporosis if bone density testing would facilitate the decision
  • women who have been on hormone replacement therapy (HRT/ERT) for prolonged periods

To schedule a bone density exam, call 818-708-5593.

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