February 16, 2005

Low Bone Density in Males with Schizophrenia

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology

A new study in the American Journal of Psychiatry indicates that men with schizophrenia are at high-risk for low bone mineral density - surprisingly, males are at higher-risk than females.

The study tracked 75 in- and out-patients with schizophrenia who had been consistently taking antipsychotic medication for at least one year. The ages of the subjects (19-50) excluded those that might already be suffering from age-related osteoperosis. In males, lower than normal bone mineral density in the lumbar region of the back correlated with increased negative symptoms. In contrast, bone density increased as levels of vitamin D and/or body mass index increased. However, antipsychotic drugs (despite their tendency to increase prolactin levels) did not appear to significantly affect bone mineral density.

The investigators recommend physical activity, good exposure to sunlight (which increases vitamin D3 levels in the body), and adequate nutrition to counteract the potential for bone density loss.

To view the study abstract, see "Osteoporosis in Patients With Schizophrenia" (Hummer M, Malik P, et al) at http://www.pubmed.com. Published in the February edition of American Journal of Psychiatry.


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