Measurement of bone density

(Bone densitometry)

Bone densitometry (DEXA) refers to the measurement of bone mineral content and serves the purpose of early detection or identification of osteoporosis (bone loss). Bone densitometry is performed in accordance with the most recent standard, which ensures a low-radiation investigation.

The local health insurance companies directly assume the cost of the investigation for the following persons:

  • Women older than 65 years of age and men older than 68 years of age
  • Women from the age of 60 years onward who have additional risk factors such as a long period of limited mobility, extreme underweight, etc.
  • Adults who have experienced minimal trauma
  • Adults with diseases associated with low bone density or rapid bone loss
  • Adults in whom one suspects low bone density or rapid loss of calcium (malabsorption syndrome)
  • Adults who take medications that may accelerate loss of calcium (cortisone)
  • Men below 68 years of age and women below 65 years of age who have been referred by a non-accredited doctor and are insured with the regional medical insurance company should get their referral note approved by the medical superintendent or reissued by an accredited doctor, failing which they will have to pay for the investigation on their own (37 Euros).

 

The following are risk factors for osteoporosis:

  • Light skin color
  • Female gender
  • Family history
  • Severe back pain
  • Excessive intake of caffeine
  • Excessive intake of salt
  • Smoking
  • An inactive lifestyle
  • Low intake of calcium in food
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Low body weight (< BMI 20)
  • Unintentional weight loss (more than 10%)
  • Early menopause
  • High risk of falling
  • Reduction of height by more than 4 cm