Depression runs deep. So deep, in fact, that researchers now say the individual cells of a person with severe depression age faster than usual.
A team of researchers in the Netherlands wanted to know why people with depression are at greater risk for diseases related to aging: diabetes, obesity, cancer and heart disease. So they looked at three groups of people: 1,100 currently experiencing major depressive disorder (MDD), 800 who had MDD in the past, and 500 people who reported no signs of depression.
Does depression accelerate aging? It’s too early to say. The findings, published in Molecular Psychiatry, show a connection between depression and cellular aging, but not a causal relationship. And the research was limited to severe depression, excluding milder and perhaps more common forms.
The good news is that previous research suggests cellular aging can be reversed with diet and exercise. Yet another reason to strap on your sneakers.