BMD Measurement Information

< 50 yearsBelow expected range for ageZ-score ≤ -2.0
Within expected range for ageZ-score > -2.0
> 50 yearsSevere (established osteoporosis)T-score ≤ -2.5 with fragility fracture
OsteoporosisT-score ≤ -2.5
Low bone massT-score -1.0 to -2.5
NormalT-score ≥ -1.0


bT-score: number of standard deviations above (+) or below (-) the mean peak density;
Z-score: number of standard deviations above (+) or below (-) the mean density for an individual of that age and sex.

cFracture Risk: (10-year absolute): low (<10%) moderate (10% to 20%), or high (>20%).

Fracture risk predicted for an individual by this system applies only for a finite period of time, and that risk will change with advancing age or with the development of new clinical risk factors. Based on 2010 CAROC system. Papaioannou, A et al. 2010 clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis in Canada: summary. CMAJ 2010;182:1864-73.

dFor the purpose of second and subsequent testing (MOHLTC Schedule of Benefits, 2010)

“high risk patient” means a patient:

1. at risk for accelerated bone loss (in the absence of other risk factors, patient age is deemed not to place a patient at high risk for accelerated bone loss); or

2. with osteopenia or osteoporosis on any previous BMD testing, or

3. with bone loss in excess of 1% per year as demonstrated by previous BMD testing.

High risk patient is limited to a maximum of one test every 12 months unless the ordering physician obtains written prior authorization from a medical consultant.

“low risk patient” means a patient who is not a high risk patient. Limited to a maximum of one second test not earlier than 36 months following baseline; subsequent test not earlier than 60 months following the second or any subsequent test.