When is bone mineral density (BMD) measurement indicated for screening and diagnosis of osteoporosis?

Updated: Sep 26, 2019
  • Author: Monique Bethel, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Bone mineral density (BMD) measurement is recommended in the following patients [2] :

  • Women age 65 years and older and men age 70 years and older, regardless of clinical risk factors

  • Postmenopausal women and men above age 50–69, based on risk factor profile

  • Postmenopausal women and men age 50 and older who have had an adult-age fracture, to diagnose and determine the degree of osteoporosis

Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is currently the criterion standard for the evaluation of BMD. [3, 4] Peripheral DXA is used to measure BMD at the wrist; it may be most useful in identifying patients at very low fracture risk who require no further workup.

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