September 17, 2009 / 8:28 PM / 10 years ago

Depression hard on the bones: study

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who suffer from major depression are at risk for low bone mineral density (BMD), research hints.

In the last 14 years, “ample research” has implicated major depression in bone loss and the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis, Dr. Raz Yirmiya and Dr. Itai Bab from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel note in the journal Biological Psychiatry.

To investigate further, the investigators pooled data from 23 studies involving 2327 depressed and 21,141 non-depressed adults.

Overall, depressed individuals had less dense bones than non-depressed individuals, they found. Depressed individuals also had increased levels of bone resorption markers.

Based on these findings and prior studies, “We propose that all individuals psychiatrically diagnosed with major depression are at risk for developing osteoporosis, with depressed women — particularly those who are premenopausal — showing a higher risk than men,” Yirmiya and Bab conclude.

People with major depression should have their BMD checked periodically, they conclude.

SOURCE: Biological Psychiatry, September 1, 2009.

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