From this year, the ‘bone density value’ listed in the results of the health examination… How much should be normal?

No matter what disease you have, it is important to know exactly what your current condition is. This is because it can determine the future direction of treatment. The same goes for osteoporosis. However, many people who have had related tests do not know their own BMD levels. What is the reason?

Bone density testing is the most commonly used test for diagnosing osteoporosisㅣSource: Getty Image Bank
Bone Mineral Density (BMD)
A bone density test is a test that measures the bone density of a specific part of our body using radiation and then measures the result. The result of the test is expressed as a number, called the bone density score (T score). When 0 is set as a normal value, the higher the negative number, the lower the bone density and the more severe the osteoporosis.

A T score of -1 to -2.5 is defined as osteopenia, and -2.5 or less as osteoporosis. A T score of -1 represents a 10% reduction in BMD compared to healthy young adults, and -2.5 represents a 25% reduction.

Bone mineral density can also be expressed as a Z score, which is a value that shows the difference from the average bone density of adults of the same age. Children, young people, premenopausal women, and men younger than 50 are typically diagnosed using the Z score.

“Revision of the form for reporting the results of the health examination and bone density test”
Starting this year, the measurement site and bone density score (T score) will be written in the bone density test result of the health examination result notice. Previously, only normal and abnormal conditions were specified in the bone density test result section. However, from this year, it will provide bone density scores and measurement sites so that patients and medical staff can directly identify the severity of osteoporosis and take action.

The measurement site was changed to select one of ▲ hip joint ▲ lumbar spine ▲other. Wrist fractures are common in people in their 50s, but the incidence of hip and spine fractures increases with age. The reason for describing the measurement site is that the rate of deterioration varies depending on the site. As a result of the bone density test, even if it corresponds to osteopenia, the side of the spine is close to osteoporosis, and the side of the femur is often osteopenia.

It is also expected that the addition of bone density scores will be of great help in the treatment of osteoporosis. If the BMD score is shown, unnecessary tests can be prevented, and it can be used as a reference for drug prescription and secondary treatment through follow-up treatment. This increases the effectiveness of bone density test results.

“Extremely low treatment rate after diagnosis of osteoporosis”
Even if osteoporosis is diagnosed, appropriate drug treatment can prevent further worsening of symptoms or life-threatening fractures. However, according to the ‘Osteoporosis Fact Sheet’ published by the Korean Bone and Metabolism Society in 2019, 4 out of 10 osteoporosis patients do not use medical services. Even 7 out of 10 female patients and 8 out of 10 male patients did not receive drug treatment.

Osteoporosis medications include oral medications and injections. Oral medicines should be taken on an empty stomach for at least 30 minutes after taking them once a week or once a month. Injectors need to visit the hospital every time or inject themselves every day. Experts say that no matter how much trouble you have, you should continue to treat osteoporosis. This is because osteoporosis can break bones even with a small impact, and once a fracture occurs, the death rate rises rapidly.

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