A T-score of 0 means your bone mass is equal to the expected bone mass of a healthy young adult. The lower your score is (below zero, presented in negative numbers), the lower your bone mineral density is. This also means you are more at risk of fractures.
NOTE: A bone mineral density test is typically recommended for women approaching menopause or those aged 65 and older. In some cases, they also recommend it to men aged 70 and up.
Osteopenia vs. Osteoporosis: Definition
Now that you have a better understanding of bone mass and T-scores, let’s talk about the definitions of osteoporosis and osteopenia.
Having a T-score of -1 or +1 is normal. That means your bone density is comparable to that of a healthy young adult.
According to the World Health Organization, osteopenia occurs when your T-score is anywhere between -1 and -2.5. On the other hand, osteoporosis indicates a T-score of -2.5 or lower.
Generally, osteopenia describes a decrease in bone mass below the normal reference values, yet it’s not low enough to be considered osteoporosis.