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B. Depression And Disability

Narrator: This is Science Today. A new study suggests better diagnosis and treatment of depression may reduce the rate of fracture-related morbidity and mortality. Mary Whooley, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, found women over sixty- five years of age with depression were more likely to experience fractures than women who were not depressed.

Whooley: These were both spontaneous fractures and fractures that resulted from falls and even some fractures that were not even noticed by the patient, such as fractures of the spine.

Narrator: Depression has also been found to hinder recovery from fractures.

Whooley: So, not only does depression increase the risk of fractures once you get the fracture, you're less likely to recover when you have depression. Doctors should be aware that depression is a very serious illness that causes these disabilities -fracture and other disabilities like mortality. And if treatment for depression is in fact available and if they can use that treatment, they might benefit patients and avoid some of these disabilities.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.