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Bone Mineral Density Testing (BMD) is an evaluation used to help diagnose osteoporosis, a progressive disease that causes bone loss, and increases bone fracture risk. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) is a type of bone density testing. BMD testing is generally recommended for women under the age of 65 with risk factors other than menopause, postmenopausal women with fractures, and all women age 65 and older. It may also be used to assess bone integrity after the use of inhaled steroid medications for asthma or chemotherapy, and in relation to other conditions, including thyroid disorders, menopause, hysterectomy, premature fractures, and advanced age.


BMD may be performed at your doctor’s office, an outpatient radiology center, or the radiology department of a hospital. There are no special preparation instructions for BMD.


BMD is a short procedure, usually lasting less than 15 minutes. A technician will position your body for the test. BMD is a painless procedure.
A radiology technician may perform your test, but is not qualified to diagnose or discuss your condition or results with you. A radiologist or your doctor will discuss your results with you.
This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on February 16, 2022. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit