A bone density test tells you if you have normal bone density, low bone density or osteoporosis. The lower your bone density, the greater your risk of breaking a bone. A bone density test can help:
The results of your bone density test will help your healthcare professional make recommendations about what you can do to reduce your chance of breaking a bone. When making a decision about treatment with an osteoporosis medicine, your healthcare professional will also consider your risk factors for osteoporosis, your likelihood of breaking a bone in the future, your medical history, and your current health.
Osteoporosis, a disease characterized by weakened and fragile bone tissue leading to an increased chance of breaking a bone, is the most significant bone disease in America. Bone mass in older adults equals the peak bone mass achieved by age 18-25 minus the amount of bone subsequently lost. Peak bone mass is determined largely by genetic factors, with contributions from nutrition, endocrine status, physical activity and health during growth. Lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol to excess, and inadequate physical activity cause or contribute to osteoporosis and bone breaks. Low calcium intake and vitamin D deficiency also play a role. [SOURCE: NOF CLINICIAN GUIDE, 2010]