When Should You Get a Bone-Density Test?
There are tests you can have done to find out your bone density – how strong or fragile your bones are. One test is called dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA or dexa). A DXA scan takes X-rays of your bones. Screening tools also can be used to predict the risk of having low bone density or breaking a bone. Talk with your doctor about the best way to assess your risk.
If you are age 65 or older, you should get a bone-density test to screen for osteoporosis. If you are younger than 65 and have risk factors for osteoporosis, ask your doctor if you need a bone-density test. To find out your fracture risk and whether you need early bone-density testing, your doctor will consider risk factors such as:
- Your age and (for women) whether you have reached menopause
- Your height and weight
- Whether you smoke
- Your daily alcohol use
- Whether your mother or father has broken a hip
- Medicines you use
- Whether you have a disorder that increases your risk of getting osteoporosis.
– Source: National Institute on Aging