Dr. Siris explains what bone density tests and T-scores are.
It’s something that’s relatively widely available. It’s covered by most insurances and it involves lying down, generally fully clothed, on a scanning table and a scanning arm painlessly and non-invasively scans over your spine and then over your hips to help determine the quantity of bone that you have. The results are calculated in a computer and you’re told your T-score. That’s the result of the bone density test, you’re given what’s called T-score.
If your score is between 0 and –1, you are considered normal. If it’s between –1 and –2.49 it’s called low bone mass, sometimes referred to as osteopenia but we prefer a low bone mass. If it’s below –2.5, that’s called osteoporosis. Now you can only use those terms if you’re a woman and you’re post-menopausal. If you’re pre-menopausal, you might get one of those labels given to you but it doesn’t have the same meaning as it does when you’re post-menopausal.
About Dr. Ethel Siris, M.D.:
Dr. Ethel S. Siris is the Director at the Toni Stabile Osteoporosis Center, Columbia University, is the Madeline C. Stabile Professor of Medicine at Columbia University, and is the immediate past-President for the National Osteoporosis Foundation. She is board certified in endocrinology and internal medicine, focusing on osteoporosis, metabolic bone disease, and bone and mineral metabolism.