A Make It or Break It Screening You Don't Want to Miss

Everyone’s risk for osteoporosis-related fractures increases with age. But no bones about it, if you’re a woman 65 or older, the American Academy of Family Physicians recommends you get screened for osteoporosis. Without this important screening, a broken bone could just be the first sign you have a problem.

“There is an association between osteoporosis and complications of other chronic diseases,” says Millennium Physician Group Internal Medicine Physician Alejandro Perez-Trepichio, MD. “It’s another marker we should look for and treat when appropriate because it will lead to deterioration of other conditions in general.”

After age 50, one in two women and one in four men will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetimes. Another 30% have low bone density that puts them at risk of developing osteoporosis, a condition called osteopenia. Routine screenings using special imaging technology can identify if you have osteoporosis. These tests are easy, fast, and painless and require virtually no preparation.

“Usually the test that most people will be familiar with is DEXA,” says Dr. Perez-Trepichio. “This is an x-ray that looks at the density of your bone.”

These x-rays use very small amounts of radiation to determine how solid the bones of the spine, hip, or wrist are. Your healthcare provider may recommend screening even earlier than 65 if you have:

  • a history of bone fractures
  • low body mass
  • a family history of osteoporosis
  • lifestyle habits that can affect bone health, like excess alcohol use or smoking
  • or you take medications that can affect your bones

“The most important aspect of all of this is prevention,” says Dr. Perez-Trepichio. “The measurement that we do as a screening test, we hope that we get to know that something is okay. And if it’s not, that we can fix it. But we cannot fix what we don’t know.

About Dr. Perez-Trepichio

Alejandro Perez-Trepichio, MD

1734 SW Health Pkwy, Ste 101

Naples, FL 34109


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