Could higher levels of anxiety increase fracture risk?


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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A new study has found that anxiety levels are linked with the bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar spine and femoral neck as well as an enhanced Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX)-derived fracture risk among postmenopausal women.

The study included 192 postmenopausal women referred to the Outpatients Clinic for the Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis at the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University Hospital of Messina, Italy, between January 2017 and April 2017. The participants were divided into tertiles according to anxiety levels using the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAMA).

The authors found participants with the lowest HAMA scores (HAMA-1) showed a lower probability of fracture than did participants with the highest scores (HAMA-3) and the same trend was observed when comparing the HAMA-2 and HAMA-3 tertiles. A higher prevalence of vertebral fractures was observed in HAMA-3 than in HAMA-1, but the difference was not significant.

Presenting their findings in Menopause, the authors said further prospective studies aimed at investigating fracture incidence according to anxiety levels are needed. “Physicians should consider fracture risk assessment in postmenopausal women with anxiety,” they concluded.