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Bone density screening on campus

05 Jun 2013

Check whether you are at risk of osteoporosis with a simple, painless test on Monday, 24 June at the Sugden Sports Centre.

Tests cost £30 and will be conducted by Tracey Hunt MSc, BSc (Hons) and Isobel Pugh MSc, BA (Hons) of Bone Matters.

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis literally means ‘porous bones’. It occurs when the rate of bone renewal does not match the rate of breakdown, eventually resulting in weak, brittle bones. Osteoporosis has no symptoms unless you break or fracture a bone, and many individuals do not realise they have the condition until this happens. Too often, people are diagnosed with osteoporosis years after they have had the condition, if they are diagnosed at all: this is too late for them to have the most effective treatment.

In the UK, one in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 fractures a bone. Most of these fractures occur because the individual has osteoporosis. In many cases, the sufferer has the condition as a result of a lifetime’s failure to take preventative action. In fact, osteoporosis has been called “a paediatric disease with geriatric consequences.”

More women die each year from fractures caused by osteoporosis than from breast cancer. This is a frightening and unnecessary statistic for a condition that is frequently preventable and – if diagnosed – treatable.

How is bone density tested?

Tracey and Isobel will assess your bone density and fracture risk using a machine called a ‘Quantative Ultrasound Scanner’ or ‘QUS’. The test measures the bone density in your heel, and is very useful for assessing your risk of fracturing (breaking) your legs, arms, hips and wrists – common fracture sites for sufferers of osteoporosis. The machine is safe, painless, and has no side effects! You put your foot in a machine that grips your heel, and ultrasound waves pass through it. Each heel stays in the machine for about two minutes.

Although the test itself is not diagnostic, individuals with low scores are given a copy of their results to give to their GP. The test serves as a useful ‘filter’ to help a GP decide whether or not the individual needs further investigation, meaning that it usually speeds up, or improves, the individual’s chances of access to a more detailed diagnostic test.

After the test is completed, your results will be printed off and explained to you. There will also be time for you to ask questions, if you have any! Along with your results and explanation, you will receive an information pack with evidence-based nutrition, exercise and lifestyle advice to enable you to safeguard yourself against the condition, greatly enhancing your chances of having strong and healthy bones for life.


If you would like to book a test, please contact:

The appointment will take approximately 15 minutes and results and advice are given immediately. You can pay at the end of the appointment in cash or by cheque.

Further information

If you are thinking about having the test, Tracey and Isobel recommend that you visit their website first:

If you have any questions, please contact: