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What are the results of a dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA) scan?

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For the results of your scan, you’ll get a T-score. It shows how much higher or lower your bone density is than that of a healthy 30-year-old, the age when bones are at their strongest. The lower your score, the weaker your bones are:

Sometimes doctors will give you another DXA scan result -- a Z score. It compares your bone density to a normal score for a person of your same age and body size.

  • T-score of -1.0 or above = normal bone density
  • T-score between -1.0 and -2.5 = low bone density, or osteopenia
  • T-score of -2.5 or lower = osteoporosis

SOURCES:

National Osteoporosis Foundation: "Bone Density Exam/Testing."

NHS: "DEXA (DXA) scan -- How it is performed."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Final Recommendation Statement: Osteoporosis: Screening."

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on November 08, 2018

SOURCES:

National Osteoporosis Foundation: "Bone Density Exam/Testing."

NHS: "DEXA (DXA) scan -- How it is performed."

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: "Final Recommendation Statement: Osteoporosis: Screening."

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on November 08, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

Who should get a dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA) scan?

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