Women's Bone Health
Strong women need strong bones. Women’s bones will begin to thin, however, when estrogen levels drop during menopause.
Banner Health bone densitometry screenings can measure bone mineral density and help physicians make a diagnosis about bone strength and fracture risk.
What is "bone mineral density"?
Bone mineral density helps determine bone strength and its ability to bear weight. It is measured with a dual energy X-ray absorptiometry test (referred to as a DEXA scan). By measuring density, we can predict the risk of fracturing a bone the same way that measuring blood pressure can help predict the risk of stroke.
This test can only predict risk. Please note that a bone density scan, or test, should not be confused with a bone scan, which is a nuclear medicine test.
Who should get a bone density test?
Bone densitometry scans should be considered for patients under the age of 65 with these risk factors:
- History of fracture as an adult
- History of fragility fracture in a close relative
- Low body weight (under 127 pounds)
- Use of corticosteroid therapy for more than three months
- Estrogen deficiency at an early age (45 years or younger).
Medicare will cover bone density testing every two years for patients who are 65 years or older with one of these conditions:
- Estrogen deficient and at risk for osteoporosis
- Abnormalities in the vertabrae
- Long term use of glucocorticoid steroid therapy
- Diagnosis of Primary Hyperparathyroidism
- Use of an approved osteoporosis drug therapy.
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