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Should I Have My Bone Density Checked?

Bone density scans, which predict the risk of fractures and osteoporosis, are among the top 45 most overused tests and treatments, according to a 2012 report based on data from several medical societies. But screening may be warranted if...

You're 65 (Or Older).
This is the age at which healthy women should first be tested, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. In younger women, the scan can pick up mild bone loss, potentially leading to unnecessary medication.

You Take Corticosteroids Regularly.
This class of drugs, used to treat a range of conditions from arthritis to asthma, interferes with the bone rebuilding cycle, increasing the risk of osteoporosis.

You Smoke.
One review of more than 80 studies found that female smokers are 31 percent more likely to suffer hip fractures later in life.

Mehmet Oz, MD, is the host of The Dr. Oz Show (weekdays; check local listings).