New Research at Herzog Hospital: Osteoporosis in Depression Patients

A study of the prevalence of osteoporosis in patients suffering from depression was started at the Herzog Hospital. The investigation is a collaborative study between the Hospital’s Schonbaum Department for Treatment Resistant Depression under the directorship of Prof. Baruch Shapira and its Osteoporosis Unit, headed by Israel’s leading expert in the field, Prof. Jacob Menzcel, formerly Herzog Director General.


The research is based on the theory that there is a higher incidence of falls and fractures reported in patients suffering from depression, with a possible higher incidence of osteoporosis.


Depressive disorders are a high incidence health problem and can reach between 10-25% in women and 5-12% in men. Depression covers a wide range of changes in affective state, ranging in severity from normal mood fluctuations of everyday life, to severe melancholic episodes related to psychodynamic mechanisms of loss and repression. Depressive people suffer from diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities with withdrawal from friends and family.


Osteoporosis, reduction of bone mass and density of the skeleton, affects a large proportion of the population. The prevalence is higher in women than in men, and in persons who are not physically active. The complications of osteoporosis are kyphosis, loss of height, low-back pain and fractures, which require surgical orthopedic intervention, as well as a long period of rehabilitation.


Osteoporosis can be prevented or treated. Bone density measurements have proven to be a very effective method of diagnosis. The new DEXA bone density machine donated by the Koschitzky Family of Toronto is one of the most advanced available and enables the hospital to conduct this research.