Ask the Nurse

How often should a woman (64 years old) have a bone density test?

The recommendation is to have a bone density test starting at age 65 (if not at increased risk for fracture) and this can be repeated every 3 to 5 years if normal. The DEXA scan is used to check the bone mineral density to screen for osteoporosis.

Women with increased risk of fracture typically have DEXA scans done at an earlier age after menopause and may be screened more frequently. Risk of fractures include:

  • History of fracture
  • Current cigarette smoking
  • History of long term steroid use
  • Low body weight
  • Diagnosed with osteoporosis

The following are recommended for good bone health:

  • Adequate intake of calcium (1200 mg daily, preferable through your diet)
  • Vitamin D (800 to 1000 units daily through supplement)
  • Weight bearing exercises

All My Best,
Speaking of Women's Health Nurse

December 6, 2012 at 1:37pm