Osteopenia is common in healthy women examined in the first year or two following menopause. Short-term fracture risk is low, but we lack algorithms to assess long-term risk of osteoporosis. Because bone loss proceeds at only a few percent per year, we speculated that baseline bone mineral density (BMD) would predict a large proportion of 10-year BMD and be useful for deriving predictive thresholds. We aimed to identify prognostic thresholds associated with less than 10% risk of osteoporosis by 10 years in the individual participant, in order to allow rational osteodensitometry and intervention. We analyzed dual energy X-ray absorptometry (DXA) of the lumbar spine (LS) and femoral neck (FN) from 872 women, who participated in the non-HRT arms of the Danish Osteoporosis Prevention Study and had remained on no HRT, bisphosphonates or raloxifene since inclusion 10 years ago. We defined development of a T -score below -2.5 at the LS and/or FN or incident fracture as end-point, and we derived prognostic thresholds for baseline BMD, defining 90% NPV (negative predictive value) and 90% sensitivity, respectively. Seventy-six percent of the variation in BMD of the LS at 10 years was predicted by baseline BMD. In an individual participant, a baseline BMD T -score above -1.4 (FN or LS, whichever was lower) was associated with a 10-year risk of less than 10% of developing osteoporotic BMD or fracture. This covered 69% of the population. By contrast, participants with T-scores below -1.4 had a 56% risk of fracture or low BMD within 10 years. At the population level, baseline T-score cutoffs below 0 at the LS (68% of the population), 0 at the FN (72%) or -0.6 (62%) at the lower of the two sites capture 90% of the population that developed osteoporosis during the following 10 years. A BMD measurement, performed in the first two years following menopause, is a strong long-term predictor of BMD in healthy women. The association is strong enough to provide robust prognostic thresholds, which can be used to divide the population into two prognostic classes at menopause.