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A scanner used to measure bone density with dual energy X-ray absorptiometry.
Bone density (or bone mineral density) is a medical term referring to the amount of matter per square centimeter of bones. Bone density (or BMD) is used in clinical medicine as an indirect indicator of osteoporosis and fracture risk.
This medical bone density is not a true physical "density", which would be measured in mass per cubic volume. It is measured by a procedure called densitometry, often performed in the radiology or nuclear medicine departments of hospitals or clinics. The measurement is painless and non-invasive and involves minimal radiation exposure. Measurements are most commonly made over the lumbar spine and over the upper part of the hip. The forearm is scanned if either the hip or the lumbar spine can't be. Average density is around 1500 kg m-3
There is a statistical association between poor bone density and higher probability of fracture. Fractures of the legs and pelvis due to falls are a significant public health problem, especially in elderly women, leading to much medical cost, inability to live independently, and even risk of death. Bone density measurements are used to screen women for osteoporosis risk and to identify those who might benefit from measures to improve bone strength.
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