Use of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and Bone Mineral Density Change: A Population-Based Longitudinal Study in Middle-Aged and Elderly Individuals

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Longitudinal studies showed conflicting results regarding the association between use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and bone mineral density (BMD). Therefore, we investigate the association between—duration of—SSRI use and BMD, and change in BMD ([INCREMENT]BMD).


Data from the population-based Rotterdam Study cohort (1991–2008) were used. In total, 4915 men and 5831 postmenopausal women, aged 45 years and older, were included, having measurement visits at 4- to 5-year intervals. Multivariable linear mixed models were applied to examine the association between SSRI use, based on pharmacy records, duration of SSRI use, and repeated measures of BMD, and changes in BMD, compared with nonuse. Femoral neck BMD (grams per centimeters squared) was measured at 4 visits, comprising 19,861 BMD measurements. Three [INCREMENT]BMD periods were examined, comprising 7897 [INCREMENT]BMD values. Change in BMD was expressed in the annual percentage [INCREMENT]BMD between 2 consecutive visits.


In men and women, we observed no association between SSRI and BMD when compared with nonuse (women: mean difference, 0.007 g/cm2; 95% confidence interval, −0.002 to 0.017; P = 0.123). We did not find an association between duration of SSRI use and [INCREMENT]BMD (women: annual percentage change, −0.081; 95% confidence interval, −0.196 to 0.033; P = 0.164).


In conclusion, use of SSRIs is not associated with BMD or [INCREMENT]BMD, after taking duration of treatment into account, in middle-aged and elderly individuals. Therefore, our results question previously raised concerns on the adverse effects of SSRIs on BMD.

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