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This week in the clinic, we have seen a rise in the number of falls subsequently resulting in fractures. It’s unfortunate that many people are not diagnosed with osteoporosis until they have already broken a bone. Osteoporosis, or thin bones, is a very treatable condition and a simple non-invasive test can be used to screen for this condition. We have a DEXA scan to measure the bone density or thickness of your hip and lower spine. It is currently recommended by the United States Preventive Service Task Force that all women should be screened at age 65. However, those younger than 65 that are post-menopausal and who have known risks for the development of osteoporosis should be screened before 65 years of age. Some of those known risks are being of white or of Asian descent, having a deficit of vitamin D and calcium intake, regular alcohol consumption, smoking cigarettes, or heavy caffeine use. Furthermore, a correlation has been made that small frame or thin women have a higher tendency to develop the condition. Some studies have concluded that women who did not supplement with prenatal vitamins are at an increased risk as well. Additionally, a familial history and certain medications predispose one to the condition particularly long-term use of corticosteroids or proton pump inhibitors. If screened appropriately, one can be diagnosed early at the stage known as osteopenia and establish a plan to detour the progression to osteoporosis. It’s my recommendation you seek further guidance from your primary care provider if you are 65 years of age or if you think you may have risks so that a Bone Density Test can be scheduled. All it takes is one fall to break a hip, land yourself in the hospital predisposing yourself to the development of pneumonia. All of this can be prevented with a simple non-invasive screening and appropriate treatment.