Around 10 years ago, there was a series of publications suggesting a link between the use of serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants and bone loss in older women. One of the things that made it difficult to interpret this information was that these studies could not determine if the bone loss was actually caused by exposure to the SSRI antidepressant because there is evidence to indicate that depression itself (in the absence of treatment) has been associated with low bone mass and accelerated bone loss in older adults.
A recent study has now looked at the impact of anxiety symptoms on bone health. In this study, researchers looked at anxiety assessments and bone mineral density tests in 192 postmenopausal women. They observed that women with the lowest anxiety scores had a 10-year fracture risk of about 20%, compared to a 25% risk among women with the highest anxiety levels. Women with higher levels of anxiety had lower bone mineral density in the lumbar spine and femoral neck.
Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD
Catalano A, Martino G, Bellone F, Gaudio A, Lasco C, Langher V, Lasco A, Morabito N. Menopause. 2018 May 7.
Anxiety Tied to Fracture Risk in Postmenopausal Women (Medscape – free subscription)