Low body weight and osteoporosis risk in men taking anti-depressants
Men who take medication to help with depression may be more at risk of osteoporosis if they have low body weight, an Australian research study suggests. The study found that anti-depressants were linked to poor bone health, but only in men who weighed below 90kg. The researchers aren’t clear why this might be the case, but point out that people with higher body weight also tend to have higher bone density. Being heavier could offset the effects of anti-depressants in some people. “The risk of osteoporosis should be taken into account when prescribing antidepressants, in particular among men who are in this weight category,” said the researchers. However, Dr Lana Williams, lead researcher and head of psychiatric epidemiology at Deakin University, stressed that the findings should not lead doctors to stop appropriate antidepressant prescribing. Commenting on the study in the magazine Medical Observer, Osteoporosis Australia’s Medical Director, Professor Peter Ebeling, said that the findings are a reminder that doctors should consider bone health in men as well as women, and that depression, use of anti-depressants and weight loss are all risk factors for osteoporosis.
Aust NZ J Psychiatry 2015; online 13 Jan. pii: 0004867414565475.