Bone mineral density is measured to:
- Detect the presence of osteopenia or osteoporosis in a person who has risk factors for developing osteoporosis.
- Detect osteoporosis. Signs of osteoporosis include an unexpected fracture, loss of height, and bone changes seen on standard X-ray pictures. Osteoporosis is most common in women who have gone through menopause.
- Help determine whether a woman who has gone through menopause may benefit by hormone replacement therapy.
- Monitor treatment for osteoporosis.
- Screen women who are older than 65 for osteoporosis. Women younger than 65 may be screened for osteoporosis if they have certain risk factors that indicate screening may be beneficial.