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If you or your doctor thinks you may be at risk for osteoporosis, you may have a screening test if you have:
Osteoporosis Canada recommends that all women and men age 65 and older routinely have a bone density test to check for osteoporosis.footnote 1
If you are at increased risk for broken bones caused by osteoporosis, routine testing should start sooner.footnote 1 Osteoporosis Canada recommends that you and your doctor check your fracture risk using a tool such as FRAX to help decide whether you should be screened for osteoporosis.
The FRAX tool can help predict your risk of having a fracture related to osteoporosis in the next 10 years. You can use this tool. Go to the website at www.sheffield.ac.uk/FRAX/tool.aspx?country=19 and fill out the questionnaire. If you have had a bone density test on your hip (femoral neck BMD), you can type in your score. If you have not had that test, you can leave the score blank.
Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and when to start bone density screening.
Bone density testing may be done with a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) test. The test measures bone thickness. It is used to see if your bones are getting thin and brittle, which means they could break more easily.
CitationsPapaioannou A, et al. (2010). 2010 clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis in Canada: Summary. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 182(17): 1864–1873. DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.100771. Accessed October 28, 2014.
Adaptation Date: 8/18/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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