Font Size
A
A
A
2
...

Bone Mineral Density Tests (cont.)

Who Should Have a Bone Mineral Density Test?

Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

Certain factors are associated with an increased risk of developing osteoporosis (see Prevention of Osteoporosis). Take a one-minute osteoporosis risk test from the International Osteoporosis Foundation.

If a person has any of these risk factors or other signs of osteoporosis, a doctor may recommend that bone mass is measured. Risk factors for osteoporosis include the following:

  • Advancing age
  • Early menopause (age <45 years)
  • Female sex
  • Asian or white race
  • Family history of hip fracture
  • Low body weight
  • Long-term corticosteroid therapy
  • Chronic disorders associated with osteoporosis, such as anorexia nervosa or liver disease
  • Previous broken bones with minimal trauma
  • Poor diet without enough calcium
  • Lack of exercise
  • Smoking

Current Recommendations

According to current recommendations in the United States by the National Osteoporosis Foundation, the following individuals should have a bone mineral density test:

  • All women 65 years and older, regardless of risk factors
  • Younger postmenopausal women who have one or more risk factors (other than being white, postmenopausal, and female)
  • Postmenopausal women who present with fractures (to confirm the diagnosis and determine disease severity)

Medicare and Bone Mineral Density Testing

  • Medicare covers bone mineral density testing for the following individuals 65 years and older:
    • Women with low estrogen levels who have risk factors for osteoporosis
    • Men and women with abnormalities of the spine (vertebral abnormalities)
    • Men and women who are receiving (or are going to receive) long-term steroid (glucocorticoid) therapy
    • Individuals with primary hyperparathyroidism
    • Men and women on drug therapy for osteoporosis who are being monitored to determine the effectiveness of the drug therapy
  • Medicare permits individuals to repeat bone mineral density testing every two years.
Medical Author:

Must Read Articles Related to Bone Mineral Density Tests

Osteoporosis FAQs
Osteoporosis FAQs Osteoporosis (or porous bone) is a disease in which bone loss occurs, so bones become weak and are more likely to break. This FAQ includes information about tre...learn more >>
Osteoporosis in Men
Osteoporosis in Men Osteoporosis (or porous bone) is a disease in which bones become weak and are more likely to break. Without prevention or treatment, osteoporosis can progress w...learn more >>
Prevention of Osteoporosis
Prevention of Osteoporosis Osteoporosis (or porous bone) is a disease in which bones become weak and are more likely to break (or fracture). Osteoporosis is preventable for most people. P...learn more >>


NIH talks about Ebola on WebMD

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Osteoporosis (Primary): Differential Diagnoses & Workup »

Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disease characterized by low bone mass and micro-architectural deterioration of bone tissue, with a consequent increase in bone fragility and susceptibility to bone fracture.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary