Who Should Have a Bone Mineral Density (BMD) Test?

In order to make a decision about whether a BMD test is right for you, your healthcare provider will consider your personal risk factors for osteoporosis and your family history as part of your skeletal health assessment. To help you find out more about your risk factors for osteoporosis, refer to the appropriate NYSOPEP risk assessment tool: for “Premenopausal Women“, for “Postmenopausal Women¬†or for “Men“.

The decision to have a BMD test should be made in collaboration with your healthcare provider. If a bone density test is recommended for you, you will need a prescription with a diagnosis.

In general, bone mineral density testing is recommended for the following individuals:

  • All women aged 60 or older, regardless of risk factors
  • All men aged 70 or older, regardless of risk factors
  • Women under age 60 who have reached menopause and have risk factors for osteoporosis (such as family history of osteoporosis, being small and thin, and/or smoking
  • Postmenopausal women discontinuing estrogen therapy or hormone therapy
  • Adults who break a bone after age 50 or have lost more than 1 1/2 inches of height
  • Adults over age 50 with a disease or medical condition associated with low bone mass or bone loss
  • Adults over age 50 taking medications associated with low bone mass or bone loss
  • Any individual considering taking or currently taking an osteoporosis medication to make sure that the medication is working properly BMD testing is not recommended for children or teens and is not routinely used in healthy young men or premenopausal women.