Science and Tech


Scientists Think Depression Can Make You Older, Quicker

New findings by researchers in the Netherlands finds people with depression tend to have cells that grow older faster.
Posted at 2:42 PM, Nov 12, 2013

(Image source: Carol and Mike Werner / Science Photo Library / BBC)

A new study shows people who are depressed or have been in the past, tend to age faster due to their cells growing older at a more rapid rate. 

Scientists looked at the length of telomeres in a large group of people in the Netherlands. Telomeres are found at the ends of DNA and they get shorter as cells get older.”  (Via WPVI)

The findings showed the more severe the depression, the shorter the telomeres. So why are shorter telomeres a cause for concern? (Via ABC)

“This leads to loss of the cells to ultimately divide and ultimately tissues start to fail, tissues and organs, and we end up getting disease and dying.” ​(Via TedMed)

One of the studies researchers at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam said of the findings, Results like ours suggest that psychological distress, as experienced by depressed persons, has a large, detrimental impact on the wear and tear of a person's body.” (Via HealthDay)

Depression has long been known to cause physical problems including the less serious like headache, upset stomach and elevated blood pressure. To the more life threating — heart disease, cancer and cirrhosis of the liver. (Via WebMD)

But what makes this study different is the possibility to undo detraining telomeres — that’s what scientist hope to learn through further research. In the meantime, healthy diet and exercise have been shown to help control stress and possibly lengthen telomeres