What is Osteopenia?

Osteopenia is the early stage of Osteoporosis. Having osteopenia places a person at risk of developing Osteoporosis. A diagnosis of osteopenia is a warning that you must start taking care of your bones and that prevention methods need to be put in place. The risk factors for developing osteopenia are the same as for Osteoporosis.

The Irish Osteoporosis Society has divided up the term osteopenia into three diagnosis. This is to make the results easier for people to understand.

The result of a DXA scan of the spine and hips for adults over 21 is known as a T-score.

A Normal DXA result is a positive T score down to -1 Example: -0.8, -0.2
A negative (-1.9, -2.7, -3.4 or higher) T score means that your bone health should be addressed.

The Irish Osteoporosis Society has divided up the term osteopenia into three diagnoses, to make it easier to understand your results.

Mild Osteopenia is a T-score of -1 to -1.49 and usually requires lifestyle changes; however cause/s should be found and addressed.

Moderate Osteopenia is a T-score of -1.5 to -1.9 which usually requires lifestyle changes, cause/s should be found and addressed and the person may require medication, depending on the cause/s or if they have had a fragility fracture.

Marked Osteopenia is a T-score of -2 to -2.49 which requires lifestyle changes, cause/s should be found and addressed and the person may require medication, depending on the cause/s or if they have had a fragility fracture.

Osteoporosis is a T-score of -2.5 or higher (-3.2 , -4.3 ) or a fragility fracture (a broken bone from a trip and fall or less as an adult).

Click on the topics on the left to read more about Osteoporosis, how it affects you and what you can do to prevent it.