Bone density testing is a way of quickly and safely assessing bone mineral content, which can predict the risk of future fractures. Osteopenia means bone mineral loss, and osteoporosis is an even greater loss of bone mineral that puts one at a higher risk for fractures. Bone mineral density (BMD) tests are used to detect osteoporosis, the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density over time. Using this simple, safe test we can find out where an individual stands in terms of bone mineral strength compared to a group of people in the same age and gender category.
Bone density screening should be done in people who are thought to be at an increased risk for osteoporosis, including those with chronic rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney disease, eating disorders, early menopause, history of hormone treatment for prostate or breast cancer, significant loss of height, smoking or a family history of osteoporosis. The test is also recommend for anyone taking corticosteroid medications for more than three months or consuming three or more drinks of alcohol per day.