A bone density test determines if you have osteoporosis — a disease that causes bones to become more fragile and more likely to break.
In the past, osteoporosis could be detected only after you broke a bone. By that time, however, your bones could be quite weak. A bone density test enhances the accuracy of calculating your risk of breaking bones.
A bone density test uses X-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a segment of bone. The bones that are most commonly tested are in the spine, hip and forearm.
Aug. 21, 2014
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- Bone mass measurement: What the numbers mean. NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Bone_Health/bone_mass_measure.asp. Accessed July 21, 2014.