Objective:Young adulthood is an important period for both bone and mental health. This study investigated the association between depressive symptoms and bone density in apparently healthy Korean men and women aged 29-32 years.Methods:This study is a cross-sectional analysis of data from 123 men and 133 women who completed follow-up examinations of the Kangwha study in 2010-2011. Bone stiffness index (SI) was measured at the os calcis using a quantitative ultrasound device. Depressive symptoms were evaluated using the Korean version of the Beck Depression Inventory (K-BDI) and classified as normal (K-BDI <10), mild (K-BDI 10-15), and moderate to severe (K-BDI ≥16).Results:Moderate to severe depressive symptoms were prevalent among 11.4% of men and 19.6% of women. Higher K-BDI scores were significantly correlated to SI in men, before (ρ = -0.286, p = 0.001) and after (ρ = -0.228, p = 0.013) adjustment for covariates. Men with depressive symptoms tended to have a lower SI; multivariate-adjusted mean SI in men with normal, mild, and moderate to severe depressive symptoms was 104.1±3.1, 100.9±5.9, and 94.1±7.8, respectively (p for trend = 0.021). In contrast, no significant correlations were identified in women.Conclusions:Depressive symptoms were significantly associated with lower SI in men, but not in women. Further studies are necessary to evaluate the impact of depression on developing osteoporosis or osteoporotic fractures later in life.