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What's Your Bone Health IQ?

3. You don't need a bone density test until...

A. age 65

B. age 55

C. you start menopause

D. you're postmenopausal


C. Even though the National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that women be tested starting at age 65 (unless you have a risk factor for the disease), many experts urge getting tested sooner. And given that more than three out of four women have never spoken with their physician about osteoporosis prevention, bringing up the topic earlier will help keep you standing tall. "You need your first test, which is used as a baseline, to be given around the time you're going through menopause," suggests Dr. Marks, who notes that bone mass drops rapidly after menopause. "Considering the results and your lifestyle behaviors, your doctor will determine when the next test should take place."

4. Your chances of bone loss increase if you...

A. start menopause before age 45

B. participate in high-impact sports, like basketball

C. have more than three children

D. consume too much calcium


A. "During the first five years after menopause, women lose 2% to 2.5% of their bone mass annually," explains Dr. Marks. "After that, it's about 1% to 2% a year." So if menopause hits early, you'll be losing bone for a longer time. While you can't control when those hot flashes begin, you can be mindful of your diet and exercise to keep your body strong.