What is a Bone Density test?
A DEXA is used to measure for osteoporosis. DEXA scans usually focus on the hip, spine or forearm. The scan can be used to diagnose osteoporosis (a condition resulting in the weakness of bones) and a person’s risk of vertebral fracture.
Who should get this test?
Osteoporosis targets women much more often than men, and it becomes more common after menopause and with advancing age. As a result, health care providers recommend bone density testing for women who have been through menopause and are at least 65 years old. In addition, there are certain characteristics that put people at higher risk for fracture, so health care providers sometimes recommend testing in men or women younger than 65 years who have one or more risk factors.
Factors that increase a person’s risk of fracture and may lead to earlier bone density testing include:
- Cigarette smoking
- Long-term use of steroid (glucocorticoid) medications such as prednisone
- Low body weight (less than 127 lbs or 58 kg)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- History of a nontraumatic or low trauma bone fracture in self or parents (eg, breaking a bone after falling from standing height or less)
- Excessive alcohol consumption (three or more servings a day)
- A disorder strongly associated with osteoporosis, such as diabetes, untreated hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, early menopause, chronic malnutrition or malabsorption, or chronic liver disease
Is there radiation involved?
Yes. The amount of radiation that’s used is minimal, amounting to roughly the same radiation that an average person gets from the environment in one day.
How do I prepare? Do I need to fast?
Women who are or may be pregnant should tell their doctor prior to the exam. There is no fasting required. There is some risk of radiation exposure. Just bring your LabFinder Order and Insurance Card to your appointment.
When will I receive my results?
Once completed, you will receive your results within 3-5 business days in your LabFinder portal.