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Depression Speeds Up Aging?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Here's a study that will further depress people suffering from depression: their condition possibly ages them faster than people who are more emotionally even-keeled.

Scientists in the Netherlands reached that conclusion by measuring cell structures called telomeres, which appear at the end of chromosomes that protect the DNA during cell division.

Succinctly put, depressed people tend to have shorter telomeres, which accelerates the aging process.

Study author Josine Verhoeven further explains that psychological distress puts more “wear and tear” on the body, which actually speeds up biological aging.

Depressed people have already shown to be at greater risk for diseases associated with getting older such as dementia, cancer and type 2 diabetes, according to previous research.

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ABC News Radio