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One of the best ways for a physician to know whether a patient has osteoporosis is through a bone mineral density (BMD) exam. The most popular way to measure BMD is through a quick, easy procedure known as DXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) evaluation.

The DXA evaluation is one of the most recommended ways for a physician to measure bone density. The exam is easy, painless, and only takes about 20 minutes. The DXA evaluation measures bone densitometry at various places in the body, such as the spine and hip, and does not require special preparation, medications or injections.

Visit with your doctor to determine if you should have a bone mineral density test.

Here are the guidelines established by the National Osteoporosis Foundation:
  • All women aged 65 and older regardless of risk factors
  • Younger postmenopausal women with one or more risk factors (other than being white, post-menopausal or female)
  • Postmenopausal women who present with fractures (to confirm the diagnosis and determine disease severity)
  • Estrogen deficient women at clinical risk for osteoporosis
  • Individuals with vertebral abnormalities
  • Individuals receiving, or planning to receive, long-term glucocorticoid (steroid) therapy
  • Individuals with primary hyperparathyroidism
  • Individuals being monitored to assess the response or efficacy of an approved osteoporosis drug therapy


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