Older adults may get a needed mood boost from a prescribed antidepressant, but they're also at increased risk for bone fractures, a growing number of studies suggest.
In one of the latest reports, Leslie Spangler, a researcher at Group Health, a Seattle-based health plan, found that antidepressant use in postmenopausal women, who averaged 64 years of age, was linked to an increased risk of fractures of the spine and other sites.
"Our study didn't show any strong association between antidepressants and wrist fractures and hip fractures," she said. "It did find an association with spine fracture."
Those women on antidepressants had a 30 percent increased risk of spine fracture, she said, and a 20 percent increased risk of any type of fracture.
Spangler's team based its findings on a review of data from more than 93,000 women enrolled in the large Women's Health Initiative Observational Study. First, the researchers looked at antidepressant use, then they looked at the incidence of fractures. The findings were published in the May issue of theJournal of General Internal Medicine.
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