Category Archives: Depression

Depression Associated With Bone Mass in Premenopausal Women


Do premenopausal women with major depression have low bone mineral density? A 36-month prospective study.

An inverse relationship between major depressive disorder (MDD) and bone mineral density (BMD) has been suggested, but prospective evaluation in premenopausal women is lacking.
Participants of this prospective study were 21 to 45 year-old premenopausal women with MDD (n = 92) and healthy controls (n = 44). We measured BMD at the anteroposterior lumbar spine, femoral neck, total hip, mid-distal radius, trochanter, and Ward’s triangle, as well as serum intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH), ionized calcium, plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), serum cortisol, and 24-hour urinary-free cortisol levels at 0, 6, 12, 24, and 36 months. 25-hydroxyvitamin D was measured at baseline.
At baseline, BMD tended to be lower in women with MDD compared to controls and BMD remained stable over time in both groups. At baseline, 6, 12, and 24 months intact PTH levels were significantly higher in women with MDD vs. controls. At baseline, ionized calcium and 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were significantly lower in women with MDD compared to controls. At baseline and 12 months, bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, a marker of bone formation, was significantly higher in women with MDD vs. controls. Plasma ACTH was also higher in women with MDD at baseline and 6 months. Serum osteocalcin, urinary N-telopeptide, serum cortisol, and urinary free cortisol levels were not different between the two groups throughout the study.
Women with MDD tended to have lower BMD than controls over time. Larger and longer studies are necessary to extend these observations with the possibility of prophylactic therapy for osteoporosis. NCT 00006180.

Cizza G, Mistry S, Nguyen VT, Eskandari F…
PLoS ONE 2012
PMID: 22848407 | Free Full Text

Review: Depression and Bone Mass


Depression and bone mass.

Although it has been repeatedly suggested that low bone mineral density (BMD) is disproportionately prevalent among patients with depressive disorders, so far depression has not been officially acknowledged as a risk factor for osteoporosis. In a recent meta-analysis comparing depressed with nondepressed individuals we report that BMD is lower in depressed than nondepressed subjects. The association between depression and BMD is stronger in women than men, and in premenopausal than postmenopausal women. Only women psychiatrically diagnosed for major depression display significantly low BMD; women diagnosed by self-rating questionnaires do not. Using a mouse model for depression, we demonstrate a causal relationship between depressive-like behavior and bone loss. The depression-induced bone loss is associated with increases in skeletal norepinephrine and serum corticosterone levels. Bone loss, but not the depressive behavior, could be prevented by a beta-blocker. Hence, depression appears as a significant risk factor for low BMD, causing bone loss through stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system.

Bab IA, Yirmiya R
Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. Mar 2010
PMID: 20392233

Review: Reduction in Food Associated with Decreased Bone Mass in Older Persons


Physiological and psychosocial age-related changes associated with reduced food intake in older persons.

Dietary intake changes during the course of aging. Normally an increase in food intake is observed around 55 years of age, which is followed by a reduction in food intake in individuals over 65 years of age. This reduction in dietary intake results in lowered levels of body fat and body weight, a phenomenon known as anorexia of aging. Anorexia of aging has a variety of consequences, including a decline in functional status, impaired muscle function, decreased bone mass, micronutrient deficiencies, reduced cognitive functions, increased hospital admission and even premature death. Several changes during lifetime have been implicated to play a role in the reduction in food intake and the development of anorexia of aging. These changes are both physiological, involving peripheral hormones, senses and central brain regulation and non-physiological, with differences in psychological and social factors. In the present review, we will focus on age-related changes in physiological and especially non-physiological factors, that play a role in the age-related changes in food intake and in the etiology of anorexia of aging. At the end we conclude with suggestions for future nutritional research to gain greater understanding of the development of anorexia of aging which could lead to earlier detection and better prevention.

de Boer A, Ter Horst GJ, Lorist MM
Ageing Res. Rev. Jan 2013
PMID: 22974653

DHEA May Help Depression with Hip Fracture


Depression following hip fracture is associated with increased physical frailty in older adults: the role of the cortisol: dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate ratio.

BACKGROUND: Hip fracture in older adults is associated with depression and frailty. This study examined the synergistic effects of depression and hip fracture on physical frailty, and the mediating role of the cortisol:dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) ratio. METHODS: This was an observational longitudinal study of patients with a hip fracture carried out in a hospital setting and with follow up in the community.Participants were 101 patients aged 60+ years (81 female) with a fractured neck of femur.Measurements of the ability to carry out activities of daily living (ADL), cognitive function, physical frailty and assays for serum cortisol and DHEAS were performed six weeks and six months post-hip fracture. Depressed and non-depressed groups were compared by ANOVA at each time point. RESULTS: Hip fracture patients who developed depression by week six (n = 38) had significantly poorer scores on ADL and walking indices of frailty at both week six and month six, and poorer balance at week six. The association with slower walking speed was mediated by a higher cortisol:DHEAS ratio in the depressed group. CONCLUSION: Depression following hip fracture is associated with greater physical frailty and poorer long term recovery post-injury. Our data indicate that the underlying mechanisms may include an increased cortisol:DHEAS ratio and suggest that correcting this ratio for example with DHEA supplementation could benefit this patient population.

Phillips AC, Upton J, Duggal NA, Carroll D…
BMC Geriatr Jun 2013
PMID: 23773910 | Free Full Text

Depression Associated with Bone Loss in Older Men


Depressive symptoms and rates of bone loss at the hip in older men.

In this prospective cohort study, depressive symptoms were associated with higher rates of bone loss in older men. Poorer performance on physical function tests partly explained the association between depressive symptoms and bone loss, suggesting that efforts to increase exercise and improve physical performance in depressed men may be beneficial.
The aim of this study was to ascertain whether depressive symptoms are associated with increased rates of bone loss at the hip in older men.
A population-based prospective cohort study of 2,464 community-dwelling men, aged 68 and older, enrolled in the Osteoporosis in Men Sleep Ancillary Study had depressive symptoms assessed by the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Subjects were categorized as depressed if GDS ≥6 at the initial examination. Bone mineral density (BMD) at the hip was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at the initial and follow-up examination (average 3.4 years between exams). Use of antidepressant medications was assessed by interview and verified from medication containers at the two examinations. A computerized dictionary was used to categorize type of medication.
In a base model adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, and clinic site, the mean total hip BMD decreased 0.70 %/year in 136 men with a GDS score of ≥6 compared to 0.39 %/year in 2,328 men with a GDS score of <6 (p = 0.001). Walking speed and timed chair stand partly explained the association between depressive symptoms and rates of bone loss.
Depression, as defined by a score of 6 or greater on the Geriatric Depression Scale, is associated with an increased rate of bone loss at the hip in this cohort of older men. Adjustment for walking speed and timed chair stand attenuated the strength of the association, suggesting that differences in physical functioning do partially explain the observed association.

Diem SJ, Harrison SL, Haney E, Cauley JA…
Osteoporos Int Jan 2013
PMID: 22461074