OBJECTIVE: This study investigated whether an increase in the loss of bone mineral density occurs with major depression. METHOD: The authors measured lumbar bone density with the use of quantitative computerized tomography in a longitudinal assessment of 18 depressed patients older than 40 years on hospital admission and 21 healthy women and men. The follow-up period lasted at least 24 months. RESULTS: A repeated measures analysis of variance model with depression and gender as factors showed that bone loss was greater for the depressed patients than for the comparison subjects and greater for men than for women. CONCLUSIONS: Major depression may be associated with increased bone loss, especially for men.