Women reach peak bone mass around the age of 25 to 30 years, when the skeleton has stopped growing and bones are at their strongest and thickest. The female hormone, oestrogen, plays an important role in maintaining bone strength. Oestrogen levels drop around the time of , which occurs on average at the age of 50 years, resulting in increased bone loss. If your peak bone mass before menopause is less than ideal, any bone loss that occurs around menopause may increase your risk of . Knowing more about the value of a DEXA scan pre or post menopause may be helpful for you. In this post Owen Hutchins the founder of My Vital Metrics explains how to read your DEXA scan report.
One of the core tests at My Vital Metrics is the DEXA Scan – sometimes called just DXA. We’ve written a lot about this one test of course, because it is at the very centre of our services, because body composition is possibly the single most revealing set of statistics around a person’s health and their performance.
Understanding Bone density Results
As you can see from the page, for each part of the body (left arm, left leg, left ribs, T-spine etc) you get an overall size of the bone, and an overall weight. This weight in grams is the dry weight of the bone – in other words, the weight of the dry calcium in your bones. Then there is a calculation of bone density with divides one by the other. You get a bone density for each part of the body, and then a total.
The T-Score doesn’t compare you to your own age group, but rather compares your bone density to what is considered ‘peak’ bone density – which is usually a healthy 30 year old, or thereabouts. Once again it is expressed in standard deviations, so a positive value means you have more dense bones than average, and a negative value means your bones are less dense than average.