from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A generalized reduction in bone mass that is less severe than that resulting from osteoporosis, caused by the resorption of bone at a rate that exceeds bone synthesis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The medical condition of having low bone density, but not low enough to be considered osteoporosis.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

osteo- + -penia


  • The precursor of osteoporosis is called osteopenia; you technically have osteoporosis when your bone density falls low enough that only 5 percent of twenty-year-old women have less than you.

    You Staying Young

  • The company's effort involved urging doctors to treat patients not only for osteoporosis but also for a milder form of bone loss known as osteopenia, which is common among middle-aged women.

    Redskins Insider Podcast -- The Washington Post

  • In other words, they had some evidence of bone thinning, sometimes called osteopenia, but they didn't have osteoporosis.

    NPR Topics: News

  • Lesser degrees of bone loss, known as osteopenia, may not benefit from drug therapy.

    Medlogs - Recent stories

  • Lesser degrees of bone loss, known as osteopenia, may or may not benefit from drug therapy.

    NYT > Home Page

  • People with osteoporosis, or low bone density, were three times more likely to have vertigo, and people with osteopenia, which is the stage before osteoporosis, were twice as likely to have vertigo as people who had normal bone density.


  • Two weeks later a letter came in the mail with an unsettling message: Benghauser had a condition called osteopenia, and her doctor recommended medication.

    NPR Topics: News

  • We will stop trying to replace the hormone market with a thinning bones market through an osteoporosis scare campaign and admit that we made up the term "osteopenia" at the same time we planted bone density measuring machines in medical offices.

    New Year's Resolutions for the Drug Industry for 2010

  • And half of women over age 50 would be diagnosed with "osteopenia" and advised to "talk to their doctor" (presumably about taking a pill to prevent osteoporosis).

    Doug Bremner: Does America Have a Prescription Drug Problem?

  • osteoporosis condition called osteopenia, she said.

    NYT > Home Page


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.