DEAR DOCTOR K: I'm a 63-year-old woman, and recently I had a screening test for osteoporosis. My "T-score" was minus 2.7. What does this mean?
DEAR READER: In the past, osteoporosis -- a thinning of the bones -- was frequently diagnosed only after a bone fracture. Today, osteoporosis can be detected earlier with a bone mineral density test. Several tests can assess bone density. The most common, considered the gold standard for osteoporosis screening, is known as "dual energy X-ray absorptiometry" (DEXA). For this test, a machine sends X-rays through your bones in order to calculate bone density.