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How does the bone mineral density test work?

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The bone density test is painless and quick. It estimates how dense or thick your bones are by using X-rays.

The X-rays measure how much calcium and minerals are in a part of your bone. The more minerals you have, the better. That means your bones are stronger, denser, and less likely to break. The lower your mineral content, the greater your chance of breaking a bone in a fall.

SOURCES:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “Osteoporosis Tests.”

New York State Department of Health: “Bone Mineral Density Testing.”

National Osteoporosis Foundation: “Bone Density Exam/Testing.”

National Institutes of Health, Senior Health: “Osteoporosis.”

Mayo Clinic: “Bone Density Test.”

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Get a Bone Density Test.”

Columbia University Medical Center: “Bone Density Test.”

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on October 28, 2018

SOURCES:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “Osteoporosis Tests.”

New York State Department of Health: “Bone Mineral Density Testing.”

National Osteoporosis Foundation: “Bone Density Exam/Testing.”

National Institutes of Health, Senior Health: “Osteoporosis.”

Mayo Clinic: “Bone Density Test.”

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Get a Bone Density Test.”

Columbia University Medical Center: “Bone Density Test.”

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on October 28, 2018

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Who should get a bone mineral density test?

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