DEXA Scan

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Question

What is a DEXA scan for Osteoporosis? Do I need a DEXA scan?

Answer

A DEXA scan is a bone density test that measures the amount of calcium and other minerals packed into your bones. In general, the higher the mineral content of your bones, the stronger they are and the less likely they are to break. DEXA scans can help your doctor determine if you have osteoporosis or are at risk for it. If you are, you may have a high risk for bone fractures.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation people should get the bone density test if they are:

  • Women aged 65 and over
  • Postmenopausal women under the age of 65 with high-risk factors like low body weight, history of bone fractures, osteoporosis in your family history, or usage of medications that can cause bone loss, or white or southeast Asian women
  • Men aged 70 and over
  • Men 50-70 years old with one or more of the same risk factors as women (above)
  • Anyone over the age of 50 has experienced a broken bone
  • Postmenopausal women who no longer take estrogen or hormone replacement

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