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Health Tip: Getting a Bone Density Test

Last Updated: January 25, 2010.

(HealthDay News) -- A bone density test measures bone strength and mass -- indicators of a person's risk for developing osteoporosis.

New York-Presbyterian Hospital says these factors may indicate the need for a bone density test:

  • Having had a bone fracture, perhaps stemming from loss of bone mass.
  • Having a close relative -- notably a mother or grandmother -- who has been diagnosed with osteoporosis or who fractured a bone.
  • Having taken over the long-term medications that can cause bone loss, including corticosteroids and certain anti-seizure drugs.
  • Having physical risk factors, such as a slender build, low body weight or fair skin.
  • Being a smoker or heavy drinker.

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