Depression depletes bone density

London: Suffering from depression? Consult a doctor, for a new study has revealed a link between  anxiety and a reduction in bone mineral density.

An international team, led by the Norwegian University  of Science and Technology, analysed data collected from over  8,000 men and women from central Norway who had participated  in the internationally renowned Nord Trondelag Health Study.

Participants underwent fore  arm bone mineral density scans, as well as completing a questionnaire regarding current  depressive and anxiety symptoms.

Other factors that may be associated with both  psychiatric symptoms and bone, such as body weight and height,as well as physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption,medication use, calcium and caffeine intake and current medical conditions were also examined in the study.

Team member Dr Lana Williams of Deakin University said they found depressive symptoms, as well as anxiety symptoms in men, were associated with lower bone mineral density.

"Even after taking into account other medical and lifestyle factors, this finding persisted.

"There  are several known risk factors for low bone  mineral density, such as advanced age, gender (women are at  greater risk than men), familial predisposition, low levels of  sex hormones, inadequate calcium intake and vitamin D  deficiency," Dr Williams said.

"It is possible that poor mental health could be  another one of these risk factors," Dr Williams added.

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