Women with this positive outlook suffered 52 per cent less bone density loss than others who were dissatisfied with their lives. Changes in attitude over the 10 years of the study also affected bone density levels. Women who became more depressed over the decade saw their bone density weaken by 85 per cent compared to those who maintained a positive outlook, researchers from the Kuopio Osteoporosis Risk Factor and Prevention Study discovered.
Earlier studies had found that depression has a negative impact on bone density and the likelihood of osteoporosis, and the researchers wanted to find out if the reverse was also true: that a positive outlook helps maintain bone density levels.
They tracked the mental well-being of 1,147 women, whose bone density levels had been measured in 1999, and asked them about their interest in life, their happiness and whether they were lonely, before carrying out fresh measurements in 2009.
(Source: Psychosomatic Medicine, 2014; 76 (9): 709)