drug use

Do Anti-Depressants Increase Risk for Hip Fractures in Older Adults?

A recent study found that anti-depressant use was associated with an increased risk of hip fracture in older adults.

In their study, researchers performed a retrospective analysis on 50,491 participants with Alzheimer disease, and 100,982 participants without Alzheimer disease using patients from the Finish register-based MEDALZ cohort study. Cox proportional hazard models were used to compare the risk for hip fractures in patients on antidepressants to patients not taking antidepressants.
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The age-adjusted rate of hospitalization due to hip fractures was 3.01 out of 100 persons-year in patients with Alzheimer disease while on antidepressants. In individuals on anti-depressants but without Alzheimer disease, the rate of hip fracture per 100 person-year was 2.8.

Overall, antidepressants were associated with an increased risk of hip fractures in individuals, with and without Alzheimer disease, and linked to all of the most frequently used antidepressants. The increased risk for hip fractures was prominent at the beginning of antidepressant use, and remained high even after 4 years.

The results indicate that frequently prescribed anti-depressants increase the risk of hip fractures in older adults with or without Alzheimer disease, and the risk continues to rise even after 4 years of usage.

—Melissa Weiss


Torvinen-Kiiskinen A, Tolppanen AM, Koponen M, et al. Antidepressant use and risk of hip fractures among community-dwelling persons with and without Alzheimer’s disease [published online January 5, 2017]. Geriatric Psychiatry. doi:10.1002/gps.4667.