Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 237–251 | Cite as

Diagnosis and treatment of osteopenia

  • Gulay Karaguzel
  • Michael F. HolickEmail author


Osteopenia is a term to define bone density that is not normal but also not as low as osteoporosis. By definition from the World Health Organization osteopenia is defined by bone densitometry as a T score −1 to −2.5. There are many causes for osteopenia including calcium and vitamin D deficiency and inactivity. Genetics plays an important role in a person’s bone mineral density and often Caucasian women with a thin body habitus who are premenopausal are found to have osteopenia. Correction of calcium and vitamin D deficiency and walking 3 to 5 miles a week can often improve bone density in the hip and spine. There are a variety of pharmaceutical agents that have been recommended for the treatment of osteopenia and osteoporosis including hormone replacement therapy, selective estrogen receptor modulator therapy, anti-resorptive therapy. In addition patients with osteoporosis who have failed anti-resorptive therapy can have a significant improvement in their bone density with anabolic therapy.


Osteopenia Osteoporosis Vitamin D Anti-resorptive Calcium Bone health 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Section of Endocrinology, Nutrition, and Diabetes, Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research LaboratoryBoston University Medical CenterBostonUSA
  2. 2.Boston University School of MedicineBostonUSA

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