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Updated April 29, 2008

Definition: Osteopenia describes bone density that is significantly lower than normal. Having osteopenia means you are at risk for developing osteoporosis, a disease in which the bone density is very low and bone structure is fragile, while together result in bones that are brittle and break easily.

Osteopenia is diagnosed with a bone density scan. Treatment of osteopenia depends on age and risk factors, but at a minimum it usually includes calcium and vitamin D supplementation along with a program of weight-bearing exercises.

Pronunciation: ahstee-opeenia
Also Known As: bone demineralization

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