Osteoporosis Screening Guidelines

DXA bone density testing is recommended for osteoporosis screening for women 65 and over.

Overview

Osteoporosis is a silent, progressive disease that causes your bones to weaken and can lead to fractures. Historically, osteoporosis was difficult to diagnose until a fracture occurred. Today, we are more aware of osteoporosis and how to prevent, detect and treat osteoporosis.

Visit our osteoporosis page to learn more about this disease.

Standard Guidelines

The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) currently recommends bone density testing for all women 65 and older. They also recommend this test for all men 70 and older.

The NOF also recommends a bone density test for postmenopausal women younger than 65 and men between the ages of 50 and 69 if some of the following risk factors apply to them:

  • Family history of broken bones
  • Being small and thin
  • Are or have taken medications that may cause bone loss, including
    • Steriod medications
    • Thyroid hormones
    • Anti-seizure medications
    • Aromatase inhibitors
    • Certain cancer medications
    • Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH)
    • Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)
    • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
    • Thiazolidinediones
    • Depo-Provera®
  • Autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
  • Endocrine disorders such as diabetes, hyperparathyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and low testosterone in men
  • Digestive disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease
  • Hematologic disorders such as multiple myeloma and sickle cell disease
  • Neurological disorders such as stroke, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease
  • Other disorders such as chronic kidney disease, depression, certain cancers, HIV, and anorexia nervosa

Note: This is not a complete list of risk factors that may indicate earlier testing.

High Risk Guidelines

There are no additional screening recommendations for individuals who are found to be at high risk for osteoporosis.

More Information

Learn more about the National Osteoporosis Foundation’s guidelines for osteoporosis screening.

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