According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, approximately 55 percent of people age 50 and older in the United States have osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease in which the body’s gradual loss of calcium makes the bones become thinner, more fragile, and increasingly susceptible to fractures.
DEXA (Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry), is the most up-to-date and accurate screening available for detecting the early stages of bone loss associated with osteoporosis or low bone mass. Also used to track bone mineral density (BMD) during the treatment of osteoporosis, DEXA is replacing older methods such as dual photon absorptiometry (DPA).
Measuring BMD is recommended for women older than age 65 and for women ages 60 to 65 who have risk factors for osteoporosis for several reasons. It can:
- Detect osteoporosis before a fracture occurs
- Predict your chances of fracturing in the future
- Determine the rate of bone loss and/or monitor the effects of treatment if it is conducted at regular intervals
- Is a painless procedure with minimal radiation exposure