What is a
- Imaging study that uses low level X-rays to measure bone mineral density (BMD).
- These scans provide a way to measure bone loss as patients age, offering helpful details about risks for osteoporosis and potential bone fractures.
Reasons to have
a DEXA scan
- Increased age: Most individuals slowly lose bone mass as they age. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends people have a DEXA scan starting at 65 (women) and 70 (men) to track overall bone health changes.
- Family history: If one or more family members have had osteoporosis or more than one fracture, patients may have a higher risk for bone loss.
- Previous fractures: Breaking bones, especially after age 50, may be a sign that you’re at greater risk for osteoporosis. Porous (less dense) bones tend to break more easily.
- Medications: Some medications such as prednisone, cancer drugs, and drugs used after an organ transplant can weaken your bones overtime.
- Overall health: Many chronic medical disorders can make your bones more likely to break. These conditions can include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, diabetes, liver disease and kidney disease.