Investigators from LDS Hospital Genetic Research want to know how dense you are. Bone dense, that is.

To better understand the genetic underpinnings of osteoporosis, the researchers are conducting a multi-year family study that will consider genetic and environmental factors.May is National Osteoporosis Month, and the LDS Hospital researchers also want to disseminate the news that bone loss is not just a natural, inevitable part of aging, but can be prevented in many people.

To reduce the risk of osteoporosis, they advise:

- Exercise regularly, including weight-bearing activities.

- Eat a balanced diet, rich in calcium and vitamin D.

- Don't smoke and limit alcohol consumption.

- Undergo a bone density screening and take medication when appropriate.

The team seeks families with at least three members who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis or have fractured a spine, hip or wrist. Study participants will donate a small blood sample, complete a family health inventory and undergo a free and painless bone mineral density scan.

For more information about the study, call 581-1104 or 1-800-372-1687.