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Early bone density test may be useful for some women

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am 49 and in good health but am concerned about osteoporosis since I went through menopause at an early age (44). Are weight-bearing exercises sufficient to prevent osteoporosis, or should I also take calcium supplements? Should I have a bone density test earlier than the typical recommended age of 65?

ANSWER: Menopause does increase your risk of osteoporosis. Exercise may help lower that risk. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D can make a difference, too. Your doctor can assess your diet to see if you need supplements. To help you understand your overall risk of developing osteoporosis, an early bone density test may be useful in your situation.