Medical definitions Osteopenia

Before we give the Medical definitions Osteopenia, let's review the 'popular definitions'.

When bones get thin, ie., lose some density, they are called Osteopenic and the person is said to have Osteopenia. When the bone thins so much that it becomes porous, the bones are said to be Osteoporic and person is said to have Osteoporosis ['Osteo'-bone; 'porosis' - porous]. Those are the 'popular definitions'.

Medical definitions Osteopenia are related to the Dexa Scan results

A Dexa scan ( ‘Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry’) is the most common means of measuring bone density. It is more accurate than other measurements currently available and it is relatively inexpensive.

When dexa scan results are reported, the results show 3 important numbers:

  1. There is the actual density of bone. This is reported as the number of grams per centimeter of bone.

  2. Then comes the comparison of your bone density with that of persons in their 'peak bone mass years'. This comparison is given as a T-score.

  3. Finally, there is a comparison of your bone density with people in your own age group. This is called your Z score.

The medical definitions Osteopenia uses the T-score - the comparison of your bone density with persons in their peak bone mass years.

How Osteopenia is defined - the real medical definition:

  • If a T score is between +1 and -1, bone density is said to be normal.

  • But if a T score is between -1 and -2.5, bone density is said to be Osteopenic.

  • Below -2.5 is defined as Osteoporosis.

So, to summarize: The medical definitions of Osteopenia are derived from Dexa Scan results. Any one with a T score between -1 and - 2.5 is said to be Osteopenic. If the dexa scan results is lower than -2.5 the person is said to have Osteoporosis (porous bones).

If you want to know more about how to understand your Dexa Scan results go to Medical definitions Osteopenia - Understanding you Dexa Scan Results.

Clearly it is better to have Osteopenia than to have Osteoporosis. But it is better yet, to have dexa scan results that show your bones are in the Normal range of bone density.

Remember that others with Osteopenic or Osteoporic bone have reversed their bone loss. Why not you? Now that you understand the medical definitions Osteopenia, you will want to know more.

There are hundreds of pages to this web site. Each contains an article about this condition. I suggest that you plan to read a few articles each week. Take your time. Study. Understand. The start acting. Of course you will want to discuss your plans with your health care provider.

Remember I am not a health care provider. I am a researcher who is sharing what I have learned over the past few years as well as some of the newest studies.

Here are a few articles to get you started:

What Caused your Osteopenia? Know the cause of your Osteopenia so you can reverse your bone loss

The 5 main treatments for Osteopenia

Natural Treatments for Osteopenia

Men's health: Osteopenia and Osteoporosis

Books about Osteopenia


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This page was revised on August 1, 2009.