Do Mood Issues Increase Risk for Osteoporosis in Women?

A recent article suggests that women, who have either psychosis with substance abuse or mood issues alone, are more likely to develop osteoporosis. The study, led by Deanna L. Kelly, Pharm. D., an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, examined information gathered from nearly 19,000 women between the ages of 50 and 64. The results showed that the oldest women who were dealing with a substance abuse and psychosis were over six times more likely to develop osteoporosis than the control group. Women with mood issues were more than one and a half times more likely to experience osteoporosis in the future. However, those women who dealt with only substance issues or only psychosis showed no increased risk for developing the illness.

“People with schizophrenia are considered a high-risk group for developing bone loss and osteoporosis, due in part to the illness itself and to multiple associated risk factors such as poor diet, low exercise, early menopause, and antipsychotic-associated hyperprolactinemia (an excess of prolactin),” said Kelly. “There is also evidence that osteoporosis and bone loss is greater in people who are smokers and who are substance abusing, both common in persons with psychotic disorders,” Kelly and her co-authors noted.

At the onset of the study, nearly seven percent of the women were diagnosed with osteoporosis, yet only four percent had received a screening prior to the study. The findings also revealed that the women with substance issues were nearly half as likely to have ever gotten screened for the illness.  “Accordingly, it appears that efforts should be made to increase osteoporosis prevention and treatment in those with substance abuse problems and especially in those who also have co-morbid psychosis,” the researchers wrote. “The higher rates of diagnosed osteoporosis among older women with major mood issues indicate that this group, also, may require more extensive screening.”

© Copyright 2011 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

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  • Deanne


    May 7th, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    oh no then I know a lot of women who are really in for it then

  • Barry


    May 8th, 2011 at 4:59 AM

    Could it be some nutritional thing too?

  • Olivia


    May 9th, 2011 at 4:42 AM

    What I see is a failure by some primary care doctors and internists who tend to have older populations as patients and a reticence on their part to make some of these screenings more available for them. I mean this cannot be new news, this is something that I think I have heard rumblings about for many years. So the time to act is certainly now, to get this population to the right screenings and offer them a higher quality of life than they may have known for years now.

  • TG


    May 9th, 2011 at 6:09 AM

    Mood. Hmm, something that can really turn things around for a person. What a person proceeds to do and how it affects his health depends a lot on the mood. A small word but has a whole lot of power.

  • jonny


    May 10th, 2011 at 4:43 AM

    Probably there are some indicators that go hand in hand, but it does not always have to mean that one thing leads to another. What about proper overall health care and the kind of impact that this would make? I would be willing to bet that this alone would make a huge difference to many women.

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