Osteoporosis and Somatization of Anxiety

Maria Papanikou


Chronic stress can now be physiologically traced as a significant player in the creation of osteoporotic bones. The present pilot study involved 100 women (N = 42 have been diagnosed with osteopenia, N = 21 have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, N = 37 had a non-osteoporotic condition) who participated in the Hellenic Society of Osteoporosis Association Support. Correlations between somatic symptoms of anxiety and osteoporosis, and among medications and somatization in women were explored. Assessments were based on a self-report demographic questionnaire and on the Short Anxiety Screening Test (SAST) administered for detection of anxiety disorder and somatization. Statistical analysis detected non-significant differences regarding the correlation between anxiety symptomatology or somatization due to osteoporosis and osteopenia diagnosis. The same pattern is observed among women’s age group, the occupational and marital status. Hypothesis that the osteoporosis and osteopenia group would manifest significant relationships with the age group and medicines was confirmed, as well as between somatization and medicines that women with osteoporosis and osteopenia undertake. The results suggest that women are not prone to manifest anxiety or somatization in relation to the osteoporosis condition. However, the majority of women with osteoporosis and osteopenia consume more than two medicines other than those for osteoporosis. This quantity and combination they undertake appear to contribute and deteriorate their anxiety/somatization symptomatology. Further research based on a larger sample would give more definite results.


women; osteoporosis; medicines; anxiety; somatization