Antidepressant use and 10-year incident fracture risk: the population-based Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study (CaMoS)

Osteoporos Int. 2014 May;25(5):1473-81. doi: 10.1007/s00198-014-2649-x. Epub 2014 Feb 25.


We used data from a large, prospective Canadian cohort to assess the association between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and fracture. We found an increased risk of fractures in individuals who used SSRI or SNRI, even after controlling for multiple risk factors.

Introduction: Previous studies have suggested an association between SSRIs and increasing risk of fragility fractures. However, the majority of these studies were not long-term analyses or were performed using administrative data and, thus, could not fully control for potential confounders. We sought to determine whether the use of SSRIs and SNRIs is associated with increased risk of fragility fracture, in adults aged 50 + .

Methods: We used data from the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study (CaMos), a prospective randomly selected population-based community cohort; our analyses focused on subjects aged 50+. Time to event methodology was used to assess the association between SSRI/SNRI use, modeled time-dependently, and fragility fracture.

Results: Among 6,645 subjects, 192 (2.9%) were using SSRIs or/and SNRIs at baseline. During the 10-year study period, 978 (14.7%) participants experienced at least one fragility fracture. In our main analysis, SSRI/SNRI use was associated with increased risk of fragility fracture (hazard ratio (HR), 1.88; 95% confidence intervals (CI), 1.48-2.39). After controlling for multiple risk factors, including Charlson score, previous falls, and bone mineral density hip and lumbar bone density, the adjusted HR for current SSRI/SNRI use remained elevated (HR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.32-2.14).

Conclusions: Our results lend additional support to an association between SSRI/SNRI use and fragility fractures. Given the high prevalence of antidepressants use, and the impact of fractures on health, our findings may have a significant clinical impact.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Antidepressive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antidepressive Agents / adverse effects*
  • Bone Density / drug effects
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Utilization / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporotic Fractures / chemically induced*
  • Osteoporotic Fractures / epidemiology
  • Osteoporotic Fractures / physiopathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors