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How To Interpret Bone Mineral Density Test Results

  • December 24,2021
  • 2 Min Read
How To Interpret Bone Mineral Density Test Results

Two scores provided by bone mineral density (BMD) studies are clinically important:

  • T-Score: The T-score is a comparison of the patient’s bone density with healthy, young individuals of the same sex.

  • Z-Score: The Z-score is a comparison with the bone density of people of the same age and sex as the patient.

WHO definitions based on BMD T-score:


Bone Density Level

+1 to -1

Normal bone density

-1 to -2.5

Osteopenia (low bone mass)

< -2.5

Osteoporosis (low calcium in bones)

Osteoporosis may be diagnosed in postmenopausal women and in men aged 50 years and older if the T-score of the lumbar spine, total hip, or femoral neck is -2.5 or less.

The following are graphic representations of bone densities (as per the T-scores), of more than 4,500 adults who got their BMD tested at Suburban Diagnostics over the past 6 years:

Important facts emerging from our study are:

  • A higher proportion of males had low bone density in the 30-39 years and 40-49 years age groups compared to females in the same age groups – 41% and 50% respectively in males versus 31% and 40% in females.

  • The vast majority of women experienced a significant drop in bone density in the postmenopausal age groups.

 Please note:

  • Males are just as (if not more) susceptible as females for osteoporosis.

  • Osteoporosis can be seen even in their 30s and 40s.

  • BMD testing is essential for assessing osteopenia and osteoporosis, especially for postmenopausal women.


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