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What does osteopenia mean?

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Osteopenia is diagnosed when an individual has reduced bone mass that has not yet progressed into osteoporosis, according to WebMD. Those with the condition are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis in the future. Osteopenia can occur with age or as a result of certain diseases or medical treatments.

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Genetics, hormonal fluctuations, having a thin body frame and smoking increase the risk for osteopenia, notes MedicineNet. So does drinking excessive alcohol, taking certain medications and having a history of immobilty, general inflammation and the inability to absorb nutrients.

Osteopenia is diagnosed with a bone density test, explains WebMD. All women over 65 should have routine screenings for osteopenia and osteoporosis. Men may also develop the condition and should be screened according to their doctor's advice.

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