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Depression and bone mineral density in a community sample of perimenopausal women: Geelong Osteoporosis Study

Jacka, Felice N. BA; Pasco, Julie A. PhD; Henry, Margaret J. PhD; Kotowicz, Mark A. MBBS, FRACP; Dodd, Seetal PhD; Nicholson, Geoff C. MBBS, PhD, FRACP, FRCP; Berk, Michael MBBch, Mmed, FF(Psych)SA, FRANZCP, PhD

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Objective: Reduced bone mineral density (BMD) in women with a history of depressive disorders has been shown in some, but not all studies. This study investigated the association between self-reported depression and BMD in an age-stratified community sample of perimenopausal women residing in the South-Eastern region of Australia.

Design: Symptoms of depression in the year between July 2000 and July 2001 were ascertained by a self-report questionnaire based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV) criteria. Women in the perimenopausal group who had undergone a BMD total hip and spine assessment within the 12-month period after the depression assessment were included in the analysis, resulting in a sample of 78 women aged 45 to 60 years.

Results: In this sample, 14 women were identified as depressed. There was no difference in age, hormone therapy (HT) use, or unadjusted BMD at the total hip or spine between the depressed and nondepressed women (P = 0.14, 0.89, 0.57, and 0.70, respectively), but the depressed women tended to be heavier [depressed (median weight, interquartile range = 80 kg, 66-94) vs nondepressed (72 kg, 61-80) P = 0.06]. Whereas there was no significant difference in age-, HT-, and weight-adjusted BMD at the spine [depressed (mean ± SE = 1.21 ± 0.05) vs nondepressed (1.28 ± 0.03 g/cm2) P = 0.18], adjusted BMD at the total hip for the depressed women was 7.8% lower than for the nondepressed [depressed (mean ± SE = 0.957 ± 0.038) vs nondepressed (1.038 ± 0.023 g/cm2) P = 0.04].

Conclusions: These results suggest that in perimenopausal women, self-reported depression is associated with lower BMD at the hip.

This study investigated the association between self-reported depression and bone mineral density (BMD) in an age-stratified community sample of 78 perimenopausal women from the SE region of Australia. Adjusted BMD at the total hip for depressed women was 7.8% lower than for nondepressed women (p=0.04).

From the University of Melbourne, Department of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences, Barwon Health, Victoria, Australia.

Received June 24, 2004; revised and accepted September 22, 2004.

Address correspondence to: Felice Jacka, The University of Melbourne, Department of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences: Barwon Health, PO Box 281, Geelong 3220, Australia. E-mail: felice@barwonhealth.org.au

©2005The North American Menopause Society