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Osteoporosis Health Center

Diagnosis & Tests

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How can you know if you have osteoporosis -- before your bones break? There are several ways to measure bone density. Learn about these osteoporosis tests.  

Diagnosis

Almost 80% of bone density is determined by heredity, and 20% by lifestyle. Bone mineral density tests (BMD) shows how dense bones are and whether you have osteoporosis. This information helps determine which prevention or treatment steps are needed. Learn more.

Around age 30, your bones reach their maximum strength and density, known as peak bone mass.

Tests

The most common osteoporosis test is dual X-ray absorptiometry -- also called DXA or DEXA. It measures people’s spine, hip, or total body bone density to help gauge fracture risk. Read more.

Various methods can check bone density, including ultrasound and quantitative computed tomography (QCT).  Bone density scores and cost may vary by testing method.  Learn about these tests.

Bone density normally drops with age. When should you get a bone density test? Read guidelines from the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

Whether you're being screened or treated for osteoporosis, your doctor may order a blood or urine test to see the metabolism of bone. This provides clues to the progression of your disease.

Bone densitometry is a test like an X-ray that quickly and accurately measures the density of bone.

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