depressive disorder (MDD), generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), and selective
serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) use are associated with bone metabolism in
older adolescents and young adults, according to a study published in the Journal
of Bone and Mineral Research.
Chadi A. Calarge, MD, from the Baylor College of Medicine in
Houston, and colleagues prospectively followed medically healthy 15- to
20-year-olds who were unmedicated or within one month of starting an SSRI. The
authors assessed the correlations between bone measures and MDD, GAD, and SSRI
A total of 264 participants were followed for 1.51 ± 0.76 years.
The researchers found that MDD severity was associated with increasing lumbar
spine (LS) areal bone mineral density (aBMD), after adjustment for age, sex,
vitamin D concentration, physical activity, lean mass or grip strength, and
time in the study. In female participants, SSRI use correlated with increasing
LS aBMD and bone formation; in males, SSRI use correlated with decreased LS
aBMD. GAD was weakly, but independently, associated with increased bone
mineralisation, after accounting for depression.
“In older adolescents and emerging adults, MDD and GAD are
associated with increasing bone mass, particularly in the lumbar spine and in
females, while SSRIs are associated with increasing bone mass in females but
decreasing bone mass in males,” the authors write.