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

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


Objective: 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.

Methods: 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.

Results: 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).

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

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antidepressive Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Body Weight
  • Bone Density / drug effects*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / pathology*
  • Forearm / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis / chemically induced
  • Osteoporosis / epidemiology
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors / adverse effects


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors