The definition has been controversial. Dr. Steven R. Cummings, of the University of California at San Francisco, said in 2003 that "There is no basis, no biological, social, economic or treatment basis, no basis whatsoever, for using minus one." Cummings also said that "As a consequence, though, more than half of the population is told arbitrarily that they have a condition they need to worry about."
Scans of bones anywhere in the body can be done with X-rays, known as Dexa (Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry). Scans can also be done with portable scanners using ultrasound, and portable X-ray machines can measure density in the heel. A study paid for by Merck found that the extent to which osteopenia was diagnosed varied from 28 to 45 percent, depending on the type of machine.
The condition can occur in young women who are athletes. It is associated with female athlete triad syndrome as one of the three components, the other two being amenorrhea and disordered eating. Female athletes tend to have lower body weight, lower fat percentage, and higher incidence of asthma than their less active peers. The low estrogen levels (stored in body fat) and/or use of corticosteroids to treat asthma can significantly weaken bone over long periods of time. Distance runners in particular are also discouraged from consuming milk products when training, which would result in lower calcium absorption than other groups.
BEFORE THE FALL OSTEOPENIA MAKES UP THE HAZY MIDDLE GROUND BETWEEN NORMAL BONE DENSITY AND TRUE OSTEOPOROSIS.(LIFE-HEALTH)
May 11, 2004; Byline: STEPHANIE EARLS Staff writer Let's talk osteopenia. If you haven't met, say hello to the new buzzword for an...
Diagnosis osteopenia: take action to prevent fractures: understand the risks and underlying causes of low bone mass, and discuss screening with your physician.(BONES & JOINTS)
Jun 01, 2011; Most fragility fractures occur in people with low bone mass, or osteopenia, a potential precursor to osteoporosis that...