What are the WHO criteria for diagnosing osteoporosis?

Updated: Jan 20, 2021
  • Author: Rachel Elizabeth Whitaker Elam, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

World Health Organization (WHO) criteria define a normal T-score value as within 1 standard deviation (SD) of the mean BMD value in a healthy young adult. Values lying farther from the mean are stratified as follows [9] :

  • T-score of –1 to –2.5 SD indicates osteopenia (low bone mass)
  • T-score of less than –2.5 SD indicates osteoporosis
  • T-score of less than –2.5 SD with fragility fracture(s) indicates severe osteoporosis

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