Depression and Low Bone Mass

Summary and Comment |
December 18, 2007

Depression and Low Bone Mass

  1. Jamaluddin Moloo, MD, MPH

Depressed women had lower BMD and higher levels of several proinflammatory markers.

  1. Jamaluddin Moloo, MD, MPH

Depression is associated with several physiologic alterations, including a hyperadrenergic state, hypercortisolemia, and an increase in inflammatory cytokines. In turn, each of these alterations may contribute to bone loss. In a cross-sectional study, bone-mineral density (BMD) was assessed among 89 premenopausal women with current or recent major depressive disorder and among 44 premenopausal women without depression.

In the depression group, 82% of the women were receiving antidepressant medication. After adjustment for body-mass index, BMD was significantly lower (by approximately 2%) in depressed women than in controls; the prevalence of low BMD (T score, <–1 at the hip, spine, or both) was greater among women with depression (28% vs. 11%). In addition, levels of several proinflammatory markers, including interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-2, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor α, were measured in a subgroup of participants and found to be substantially higher among the depression group. No significant differences in bone density were noted between users of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and users of non-SSRI medications.


In this cross-sectional study, depressed premenopausal women had greater risk for low BMD than premenopausal women without depression. This finding, if confirmed in prospective trials, should trigger earlier BMD screening among depressed women.


Your Comment

(will not be published)

Filtered HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Do you have any conflict of interest to disclose?
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Vertical Tabs

* Required

Reader comments are intended to encourage lively discussion of clinical topics with your peers in the medical community. We ask that you keep your remarks to a reasonable length, and we reserve the right to withhold publication of remarks that do not meet this standard.

PRIVACY: We will not use your email address, submitted for a comment, for any other purpose nor sell, rent, or share your e-mail address with any third parties. Please see our Privacy Policy.