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Testing Your Bone Density

bone mineral density nycOur bones. Is there a part of our bodies that we collectively take for granted more? We expect our skeleton to support us through thick and thin, until it doesn’t. That’s when your bone density starts decreasing as osteoporosis sets in. At Park Avenue Endocrinology and Nutrition we have extensive experience treating osteoporosis. One tool at the beginning of our treatment is the bone density test.

What is a bone density test?

A bone mineral density (BMD) test can provide a picture of your bone health. The test is effective for identifying osteoporosis, determining your risk for bone fractures, and to measure how our treatment plans at Park Avenue Endocrinology are proceeding.

At Park Avenue, we use a DXA test for bone density. DXA stands for dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. The test is painless and very similar to having an x-ray taken. The test measures your bone density at your hip and spine. We also test bone density in the lower arm, wrist, fingers, or heel.

What does the BMD tell us?

A BMD test measures your bone mineral density and compares it to that of an established norm. It is an accurate predictor of the possibility of future fractures.

The test compares your BMD score to the ideal or peak bone density of a healthy 30-year-old adult. The test gives us a T-score for you. A score of 0 means your density is equal to the norm of a healthy young adult. From there, your scores usually go downward.

What are the normals and risk levels?

When we look at your BMD score, we compare it to that 30-year-old. These are the categories we use:

  • Normal= Bone density is within 1 point of that 30-year-old norm, a +1 to a –1
  • Low bone mass= Bone density is between 1 and 2.5 points below the 30-year-old, a –1 to a –2.5
  • Osteoporosis= Bone density is 2.5 points or more below, a –2.5 and below
  • Severe osteoporosis(established) = Bone density score of –2.5 points below the norm, and there has been at least one osteoporotic fracture

What to do

The information provided by your BMD test helps us decide upon possible prevention and treatment options for you. Not everyone who has low bone mass will develop osteoporosis, but everyone with low bone mass is at a higher risk for the disease and for bone fractures.

If you’re a woman over age 65, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that you have a bone density test. If you’re under 65, but have a high risk for fractures, you should also have a BMD test.

Schedule A Consultation

To set up your BMD test at Park Avenue Endocrinology and Nutrition, call us at 212-772-7628.

Posted in: Bone Density

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