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All people age 65 or older should have a bone-density test to determine if they’re at risk for osteoporosis—or if they already have it, says Recker. Those with one or more risk factors for osteoporosis—such as a family history of the disease, a history of alcohol or tobacco use, the use of bone-weakening medications (such as steroids or antiseizure drugs), or early menopause—should get the test as early as age 50, Recker says. Your doctor will probably advise you to have a test called DEXA, which measures bone density of the hip and spine. If the density is lower than it should be, your doctor may advise you to take estrogen or other medications to prevent further bone loss and add bone density.
Panel Of Advisors
Theodore R. Fields, MD,is a rheumatologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, an associate professor of clinical medicine at the Weill College of Medicine of Cornell University, and clinical director of the H.S.S. Gosden Robinson Early Arthritis Center.
James Hubbard, MD, MPH,was a family practitioner in Mississippi for over 25 years and is the publisher ofJames Hubbard's My Family Doctor,a magazine written by health care providers for the general public.
Steven Jepson, MD,is medical director of the Utah Dermatologic and Medical Procedures Clinic in Murray, Utah, and author of7 Ways to Look Younger Without Undergoing the Knife.
Susan Kaib, MD,is the medical director of Kronos Optimal Health Company in Phoenix, Arizona.
Robert R. Recker, MD,is director of the Osteoporosis Research Center at Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska.
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