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How do you interpret your osteoporosis score and understand the risks?

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Quick Answer

Patients who receive a bone density test T-score of -2.5 or lower are typically diagnosed with osteoporosis, according to Mayo Clinic. This means that the patient is at high risk for fractures and should take part in some form of treatment, explains WebMD.

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Those that receive a bone density test T-score between -1 and -2.5 are diagnosed with osteopenia, which may turn into osteoporosis as time progresses, states Mayo Clinic. A normal bone density T-score is -1 or higher. A T-score is a patient's bone density compared to that of a healthy adult of the same sex.

Patients also receive a Z-score, which is the standard deviation of bone density when compared to that of a healthy adult of the same age, sex, race and weight, according to Mayo Clinic. Those with a Z-score of -2 or lower may have bone loss due to a problem other than aging.

A person's age, weight, body size and type, sex and familial history are uncontrollable risk factors of osteoporosis, reports Mayo Clinic. A patient's hormone levels, medications and dietary factors are controllable risk factors. Patients that consume large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis, use tobacco and do not exercise have a greater risk of receiving an osteoporosis diagnosis.

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