Depressive symptoms and bone mineral density in older men

Mary A. Whooley, Jane A. Cauley, Joseph M. Zmuda, Elizabeth M. Haney, Nancy W. Glynn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Most studies examining the relation between depression and bone mineral density (BMD) have been limited to psychiatric patients or to community-dwelling, older women. We conducted a cross-sectional and prospective cohort study to determine whether depressive symptoms are associated with low BMD in community-dwelling, older men. We recruited 515 men 50 years of age or older from population-based listings of age-eligible men. Participants completed the Geriatric Depression Scale (short form) and were considered depressed if they scored 6 or more out of 15 possible points. BMD was measured in the spine and hip using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry in all participants, and again an average of 3.6 years later in a random subset of 100 participants. The prevalence of depressive symptoms (GDS = 6) was 3.1% (16 of 515). We found no difference in mean BMD or mean percent change in BMD per year of the hip and lumbar spine in men who had 6 or more depressive symptoms compared with men who reported 5 or fewer symptoms of depression. These findings suggest that depressive symptoms are not associated with BMD in community-dwelling, older men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-92
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2004


  • Bone mineral density
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Older men

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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