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Bone Densitometry


Bone densitometry, also called dual-energy X-RAY absorptiometry or DEXA, uses a very small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body (usually the lower spine and hips) to measure bone loss.  A bone density scan is the only test that can diagnose osteoporosis.  This test helps to estimate the density of your bones and your chance of breaking a bone. 

The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) recommends that you have a bone density test if you are a woman 65 or older, you break a bone after age 50, you are a woman of menopausal age with risk factors, or you are a postmenpausal woman under age 65 with risk factors. Men aged 50-59 with risk factors may also benefit from a bone density scan.

If you meet any of the aforementioned criteria, you should talk to your doctor or other healthcare providers about getting a bone density test if you have never had one. 

Additional Resources

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

American College of Radiology (ACR)

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

American Cancer Society (ACS)