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Article Index
Bone Density
Page 2
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Bone Density Testing

What is a Bone Densitometry?

Also called a DEXA Scan (dual energy x-ray absoptiometry), this test is a fast, painless, non-invasive, low dose x-ray procedure used to measure the calcium content of your bone, also known as bone mineral density (BMD). DEXA is used to diagnose osteoporosis, a gradual loss of calcium, which causes your bones to become thinner and more likely to break. The results of DEXA help your physician assess your OsteoAge, or the relative biological age of your bones compared to other subjects your age.

PhysioAge Medical Group utilizes the state-of-the-art GE Lunar DUO Densitometer with a pencil-beam x-ray (pictured below). Total radiation exposure is about 9% of that of a standard chest x-ray.



Who needs a Bone Densitometry exam?


While the disease affects both men and women, 80% of those affected are women. In fact, 22 million American women are affected by osteoporosis. Women have a higher risk for osteoporosis than men because women often have smaller, thinner frames. In addition, menopause causes women to produce less estrogen, a hormone that helps protect them against bone loss; 20% of bone mass can be lost in the 5-7 years following menopause.

Factors that may add to the risk of osteoporosis include:

  • Female
  • Caucasian or Asian
  • Advanced age (>65 years)
  • History of bone fracture
  • Small, thin frame
  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Post-menopausal, including early or surgically induced menopause
  • Low-calcium diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Eating disorders
  • Abnormal absence of menstrual periods
  • Certain medicines (such as steroids and anticonvulsants)
  • Alcohol or tobacco use