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J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 2015 Jun;15(2):177-85.

The association between major depressive disorder, use of antidepressants and bone mineral density (BMD) in men.

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Social Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Eastern Finland (UEF), Kuopio, Finland.
Bone and Cartilage Research Unit, Surgery, Institute of Clinical Medicine, UEF, Kuopio, Finland.
School of Medicine, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia.
North West Academic Centre, Department of Medicine, The University of Melbourne, St Albans, Australia.
Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia.
The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia.
Institute of Clinical Medicine, Psychiatry, UEF, Kuopio, Finland.
Department of Child Psychiatry, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.
Departments of Psychiatry: Kuopio University Hospital (KUH), South-Savonia Hospital District, Mikkeli; North Karelia Central Hospital, Joensuu; SOSTERI, Savonlinna; SOTE, Iisalmi; Lapland Hospital District, Rovaniemi, Finland.
Barwon Biomedical Research, The Geelong Hospital, Geelong, Australia.



Both depression and use of antidepressants have been negatively associated with bone mineral density (BMD) but mainly in studies among postmenopausal women. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate these relationships in men.


Between 2006 and 2011, 928 men (aged 24-98 years) from the Geelong Osteoporosis Study completed a comprehensive questionnaire, clinical measurements and had BMD assessments at the forearm, spine, total hip and total body. Major depressive disorder (MDD) was identified using a structured clinical interview (SCID-I/NP). The cross-sectional associations between BMD and both MDD and antidepressant use were analyzed using multivariable linear regression.


Of the study population, 84 (9.1%) men had a single MDD episode, 50 (5.4%) had recurrent episodes and 65 (7.0%) were using antidepressants at the time of assessment. Following adjustments, recurrent MDD was associated with lower BMD at the forearm and total body (-6.5%, P=0.033 and -2.5%, P=0.033, respectively compared to men with no history of MDD), while single MDD episodes were associated with higher BMD at the total hip (+3.4%, P=0.030). Antidepressant use was associated with lower BMD only in lower-weight men (<75-110 kg depending on bone site).


Both depression and use of antidepressants should be taken into account as possible risk factors for osteoporosis in men.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

JAP has received grant/research support from the NHMRC, Perpetual, Amgen (Europe) GmBH, BUPA Foundation and Arthritis Australia and has received speaker fees from Amgen and Sanofi Aventis. MB has received grant/research support from the NIH, Cooperative Research Centre, Simons Autism Foundation, Cancer Council of Victoria, Stanley Medical Research Foundation, MBF, Beyond Blue, Rotary Health, Geelong Medical Research Foundation, Bristol Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Glaxo SmithKline, Meat and Livestock Board, Organon, Novartis, Mayne Pharma, Servier and Woolworths, has been a speaker for Astra Zeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Glaxo SmithKline, Janssen Cilag, Lundbeck, Merck, Pfizer, Sanofi Synthelabo, Servier, Solvay and Wyeth, and served as a consultant to Astra Zeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Glaxo SmithKline, Janssen Cilag, Lundbeck Merck and Servier. LJW received grants from Eli Lilly, Pfizer, The University of Melbourne, Deakin University and NHMRC. All other authors state that they have no conflicts of interest. The funding providers played no role in the design or conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; or in preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript.

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