I just received the results for my Bone Density Scan, but I'm confused as to what the results mean. I know that T-Score is used to diagnose normal, osteopenia or osteoporosis, however my results don't list a T-Score. I'm a 17 year old Asian female, so perhaps my age is the reason there's no T-Score? Anyhow, these are my results:
AP Spine (L1-L4): BMD (g/cm2) = 0.825, and Z-score = -1.8
Femoral Neck (Left): BMD = 0.724, and Z-Score = -1.1
Total Hip (Left): BMD = 0.733, and Z-Score = -1.8
The impression from the doctor at the end of the report says there is a high risk of fracture later in life given very low baseline BMD now. What I would most like to know though, is if my results indicate I currently have osteopenia or if my BMD/Z-Score means I'm still in the normal range? Any help is appreciated, thank you.
DEXA scores are reported as "T-scores" and "Z-scores."
The T-score is a comparison of a person's bone density with that of a healthy 30-year-old of the same sex. The Z-score is a comparison of a person's bone density with that of an average person of the same age and sex.
Z-scores are not used to formally diagnose osteoporosis.
Since you have not yet reached the age of 30, no T-score can be given. It is usually felt that a woman may keep building bone up to about 30. This is usually felt to be the time when a woman's bones are at their best.
You are definitely at a lower BMD than you should be. But, since you are so young, you have a chance to correct this. Now is the time to do that. Your physician should be able to tell you why you have such a low BMD. If it is due to your eating habits and physical activities (such as the Female Triad), you need to correct that. If it is due to a medical condition, then your physician should act to correct the problem.
You still have time to change things. But, if you do not, then having such a low BMD puts you at risk for future fractures.
Good luck. Talk to your physician as to what you need to do to build up your BMD.