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A 29-year-old member asked:

What does a "low normal" bone density test mean?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. William Banks Hinshaw
Obstetrics and Gynecology 43 years experience
Very little!: When the world health organization arbitrarily set a level of bone mineral density (bmd) below which a person was said "to have" osteoporosis, the opportunity was immediately seized by interested parties to declare a range better than that density but adjacent to it as "osteopenia". Above that is called "normal" bmd is a continuum! normal is normal. Low normal means normal.
Dr. Theresa Redling
Geriatrics 34 years experience
Osteopenia: Norma bone density measurements are compared to normla young bones, called the t score. A T-score of 1 is normal. The more negative the number the worse the bone density is. So a T-score of more negative then -2.5 is osteoposrosis. Osteopenia(pre osteoporosis) is therefore between 1 and -2.5 scores.

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A 40-year-old member asked:

What is a ultrasonic bone density test?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. William Banks Hinshaw
Obstetrics and Gynecology 43 years experience
A DXA alternative: The dual energy x-ray analysis (dexa or dxa) is considered the "gold standard" for measuring the mineral content of your bone. A similar measurement can be done with ct-scans or ultrasound, where the impedance of the sound wave can be correlated with bone mineral. None of these tests provide much definitive information about fracture risks. Ask you doctor for a frax clinical analysis first!
A 41-year-old member asked:

When could I get a bone density test?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Vance Harris
Family Medicine 37 years experience
Depends who you ask: Recommendations say age 60 now but ages 50-60 are when the most bone is lost so it would be good to know where you stand about age 50. If you have been on oral steroids for a long time or if your vit d level is low then you might need a scan even earlier. I do not agree that age 60 is the ideal age for a density scan but many doctors start at that age. I think the cat is out of the bag by then.

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Last updated Feb 19, 2015

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