A bone density test measures the amounts of calcium and other minerals in your bones, and how likely you are to develop thin and brittle bones — characteristics of a condition called osteoporosis.
The womenshealth.gov website says your doctor should evaluate the following factors before recommending a bone density test:
- Your age, and whether you have become menopausal.
- How tall you are and how much you weigh.
- Whether you are a smoker and drink alcohol.
- Your family history of a broken hip, particularly among your parents.
- Medications you take.
- Whether you have a disorder that increases your risk of osteoporosis.