The earlier the diagnosis and treatment, the lesser the risk of aggravations to the medical conditions. Lack of treatment in the advanced stages of these medical conditions can also lead to bone fractures.
This is especially true in the case of osteoporosis amongst the elderly. Effective treatment does not reverse age-related bone degeneration like osteoporosis, but can slow down the pace of further degeneration.
In case of reduced bone mass, early treatment can also improve bone mass, which can be monitored through the DEXA scan.
The thickness of bones usually weakens in both sexes after the age of 50 years. However, the strength and thickness of bones in women degenerate more rapidly post-menopause as a result of hormonal changes.
Therefore, women are at a greater risk of osteoporosis and osteopenia before the age of 70 years.
Other purposes of the DEXA scan are:
- Diagnose osteoporosis when there is a bone fracture
- Predict the risk of future bone fractures
- Evaluate the rate of bone loss