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Interactive Tool: Are You at Risk for Osteoporosis? - What's next?

If you are concerned about your results, talk to your doctor. A diagnosis of osteoporosis is based on your medical history, a physical exam, and a test to measure your bone thickness (density). The most accurate test is called a DEXA scan.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that all women age 65 and older have a bone density test. If you are at increased risk for broken bones caused by osteoporosis, you should start routine screening sooner.3 USPSTF recommends that you and your doctor check your fracture risk using a tool such as FRAX to help decide whether you should be screened for osteoporosis. Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and about when to start bone mineral density screening.

The FRAX tool was developed by the World Health Organization to help predict your risk of having a fracture related to osteoporosis in the next 10 years. You can use this tool too. Go to the website at www.sheffield.ac.uk/FRAX, and click on Calculation Tool. If you have had a bone mineral density test (BMD) on your hip, you can type in your score. If you have not had that test, you can leave the score blank.

For help deciding if and when testing is right for you, see the topic:

dplink.gif Osteoporosis: Should I Have a Dual X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) Test?

Getting regular exercise and eating a diet that has enough calcium and vitamin D can reduce your chances of severe bone thinning. For more information, see the topic Osteoporosis.

Source: Cadarette SM, et al. (2000). Development and validation of the osteoporosis risk assessment instrument to facilitate selection of women for bone densitometry. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 162(9): 1289-1294.

Source: Cadarette SM, et al. (2004). The validity of decision rules for selecting women with primary osteoporosis for bone mineral density testing. Osteoporosis International, 15: 361-366.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 23, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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