Bone Density Scan
Catherine Burt Driver, MD
Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- Bone density scan facts
- What is osteoporosis?
- How does osteoporosis occur?
- What is bone mineral density (BMD)?
- Who invented the bone density scan?
- Who performs bone density scans?
- Where is a bone density test done?
- What information is on a DXA report?
- Why is bone mineral density measurement important?
- What is the relationship between BMD and fracture risk?
- Who should have BMD testing?
- How is BMD measured?
- What are other methods of measuring BMD?
- How often should DXA scans be repeated to monitor treatment?
- What is the cost of DXA?
- What about the accuracy of BMD testing in the doctor's office using smaller equipment?
- Find a local Rheumatologist in your town
Bone density scan facts
- About 40% of postmenopausal women in the U.S. have osteopenia (low bone density). An additional 7% have osteoporosis (substantially low bone density).
- One in three women and one of five men over the age of 50 will experience a bone fracture related to osteoporosis.
- About 33% of people who suffer a hip fracture are totally dependent or in a nursing home in the year following the fracture, stressing the importance of early detection and appropriate therapy.
- Bone mineral density (BMD) estimates the true mass of bone.
- BMD analysis is recommended for women between ages 50 and 65 with risk factors for osteoporosis and for all women over the age of 65. In addition, men and women taking certain medications or having certain diseases should discuss testing with their doctor.
- By measuring BMD, it is possible to predict fracture risk in the same manner that measuring blood pressure can help predict the risk of stroke.
- DXA (or DEXA) is quick, painless, and the preferred method to measure BMD.
- Osteoporosis has many available prescription and nonprescription treatment options once the diagnosis is made.
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a medical condition that is characterized by bones that are less dense than, and thus not as strong as, normal bone. Osteoporosis increases the risk of breaking a bone (fracture) with even minor trauma, such as a fall from standing height, or even from a cough or sneeze. Unfortunately, people often do not realize they have osteoporosis until either they have a fracture or have a screening test ordered by their doctor to check for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis and low bone mass affect an estimated 44 million Americans. Of those, 10 million have osteoporosis, and the remaining 34 million have a lower than normal bone mass (medically termed osteopenia) and are at higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Women are four times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. Other health risk factors include older age, family history of osteoporosis, small and thin stature, inactive lifestyle, smoking, alcohol, and use of certain medications, including steroids.
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