Depression is associated with a number of different physical health problems and researchers at Jerusalem University have added a new one to the list - osteoporosis. A number of studies have pointed to a link between depression and decreased bone density but thes have been much too small to suggest a definite link. The Jerusalem University researchers pooled together 23 different studies comparing 2,327 people with depression to 21,141 without. The depressed people had a substantially lower bone density than the non-depressed ones and depression was associated with an increased activity in cells (osteoclasts) that break down bone. The association between depression and bone density was stronger in women, particularly pre-menopausal ones. It is thought that 1 in 5 men and 1 in 3 women over the age of 50 suffer from osteoporosis which can lead to bone fractures, severe disability and even death.
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