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Doctor insights on: What Is The Difference Between Bone Density Test And Bone Mineral Density Test

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Bone (Definition)

Bone is a living growing tissue made mostly of collagen (protein that provides soft framework) & the mineral calcium phosphate that adds strength & hardens the framework. Two types of bone are found in the body; cortical (dense compact outer layer) & trabecular (makes up inner layer, ...Read more


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Can you tell me the difference between a bone density test and a bone scan?

Can you tell me the difference between a bone density test and a bone scan?

Yes: Bone density tests measure the amount of calcium in the bone to determine a person's risk for fractures. Bone scans use a radioactive tracer to identify areas of abnormally high cellular activity in the bone. Some conditions that may show up on a bone scan include recent fractures, infections of the bone, or some forms of cancer in the bone. ...Read more

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Who should have a bone density test?

Who should have a bone density test?

Screening: All women near menopause and then every 2 years. Men should start bone density testing at age 70. Patients on corticosteroids should undergo bone density testing irrespective of age. Several other risk factors should be taken into account as well. ...Read more

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When could I get a bone density test?

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. ...Read more

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Does a bone density test usually hurt?

Does a bone density test usually hurt?

No: The best bone density test, called dxa, does not use any needles. A person lies on a table and a very small dose of radiation passes through the lower spine and hip to measure bone density. It is painless. ...Read more

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Will my insurance cover a bone density test?

Will my insurance cover a bone density test?

Maybe: Depends on your insurance. For postmenopausal women a bone density test can be an important part of preventive care. If your insurance covers preventive care, such a test may be included. ...Read more

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

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

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. ...Read more

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Why would u do a bone density test on a woman my wife is geting one done

Why would u do a bone density test on a woman my wife is geting one done

To : To see if she if her calcium levels in the bone are affected. In women, if estrogen levels drop (could be for a variety of reasons, one including menopause) calcium levels drop too, causing drop in bone density, fractures, brittle bones and possibly bone deformities. Bone density test sometimes needs to be repeated more than once to show actual drop in bone density. ...Read more

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I had a Bone Density test. The result was : R-6.59 L-6.20 Lumbar 9.82 What does this mean?

Numbers look wrong: Central DXAs measure bone density at the lumbar spine and left and right total hips/femoral necks. Results are presented as actual BMC (bone mineral content (ie, 0.887, 0.7436, etc) and as a T-score (standard deviations above/below ur bone density is from woman's peak bone mass). T-scores are usually presented as a + or - number: >-1.0 normal, -1.0 to -2.4 osteopenia, ...Read more

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Dr. Robert Lang
1,154 doctors shared insights

Bone Density (Definition)

Bone density (or bone mineral density) is a medical term normally referring to the amount of mineral matter per square centimeter of bones. Bone density (or bmd) is used in clinical medicine as an indirect indicator of ...Read more


Minerals (Definition)

Your body uses minerals to stay healthy and perform vital functions like bone development. Eating a healthy diet full of variety is the best way to the ...Read more