Osteoporosis Vs Osteopenia -what is the difference?
Many medical terms are seemingly the same to common people, but these share huge differences. Thus, when we talk of Osteoporosis Vs Osteopenia, the bone density test score decides, which one do you have?
One of the important studies published at Harvard Health Publishing brings out the difference between the two. This established a clear indicator to know, with which disease you are suffering from? Both the diseases Osteoporosis and Osteopenia affect bone density. They make bones in older individuals thin, hollow, weak, and also wither minerals from the bones. Thus, the bone mineral density test is an extremely helpful test to know the fracture risks in weak bones.
Osteoporosis Vs Osteopenia- The bone density test
The important bone density test called the dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry i.e. DXA is a noninvasive test and determines the mineral content in your bones. The test has a measurement, called T-scores, the scores of which reveal the category of the affected individual. These categories are Osteoporosis, Osteopenia, and a normal individual.
T-Score for DXA
Now, for Osteopenia, typical T-score ranges from -1 to -2.5, while for osteoporosis, it is beyond -2.5. So any individual who has a score, to the left of -1, is a normal individual with a healthy bone density. While any individual having a score ranging from -1 to -2.5 is at an increased risk of developing bone-related diseases.
Dr. Maureen is an expert in preventive medicine at Harvard Medical School. He states that “The label matters less than the number. These distinctions are to some extent arbitrary lines in the sand”. With this, he means to establish the fact that, though there may not be seemingly a big difference between the scores of -2.3 and -2.5 for an individual, these two may certainly have significantly different categories. A -2.3 is osteopenia while a -2.5 is osteoporosis. Thus the number of the T-score carries greater significance than the label itself.
The bone density-related problems affect women more than they affect men. So bone-health professionals strictly advise incorporating weight-bearing exercises, especially for women. These exercises coupled with a good calcium diet serve as preventive measures. Some of the important weight-bearing exercises include running, walking, skipping, or any exercise that lets you touch your feet to the ground. Or simply bears the weight of your body. While exercises like swimming or biking are not weight-bearing ones. Thus establishing a clear difference for Osteoporosis Vs Osteopenia, in a nutshell, is that osteopenia is severe thinning of bones. This can lead to a further worsened bone condition called osteoporosis. So osteopenia could simply be considered as one of the onset indicators for osteoporosis.
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