Cells show signs of faster aging after depression - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Cells show signs of faster aging after depression

Updated:
© iStockphoto.com / Diane Diederich © iStockphoto.com / Diane Diederich
  • More NewsMore>>

  • Documents detail another delayed GM recall

    Documents detail another delayed GM recall

    DETROIT (AP) - General Motors waited years to recall nearly 335,000 Saturn Ions for power steering failures despite getting thousands of consumer complaints and more than 30,000 warranty repair claims, according to government documents released Saturday.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government's auto safety watchdog, also didn't seek a recall of the compact car from the 2004 through 2007 model years even though it opened an investigation more than two years ago and f...More >>
    DETROIT (AP) - General Motors waited years to recall nearly 335,000 Saturn Ions for power steering failures despite getting thousands of consumer complaints and more than 30,000 warranty repair claims, according to government documents released Saturday.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government's auto safety watchdog, also didn't seek a recall of the compact car from the 2004 through 2007 model years even though it opened an investigation more than two years ago and f...More >>
  • One injured during skydiving in Mercer County

    One injured during skydiving in Mercer County

    GROVE CITY, Pa. One person was flown by medical helicopter from Skydive Pennsylvania in Mercer County after a rough landing.Emergency crews responded to the skydiving center at Grove City Airport around 6:50 p.m. Saturday evening.21 News is told the victim's parachute did open, but the man was injured during the landing.His condition is not known at this time.More >>
    GROVE CITY, Pa. One person was flown by medical helicopter from Skydive Pennsylvania in Mercer County after a rough landing.Emergency crews responded to the skydiving center at Grove City Airport around 6:50 p.m. Saturday evening.21 News is told the victim's parachute did open, but the man was injured during the landing.His condition is not known at this time.More >>
  • Motorists reminded of more Amish buggies on the roads

    Motorists reminded of more Amish buggies on the roads

    LISBON, Ohio - Orange barrels won't be the only thing motorists will have to watch for while traveling throughout Columbiana County.  Vehicles are often using the same lanes as Amish buggies and localMore >>
    LISBON, Ohio - Orange barrels won't be the only thing motorists will have to watch for while traveling throughout Columbiana County.More >>

By Brenda Goodman
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The cells of people who have had depression may age more quickly, a new study suggests.

Dutch researchers compared cell structures called telomeres in more than 2,400 people with and without depression.

Like the plastic tips at the ends of shoelaces, telomeres cap the ends of chromosomes to protect the cell's DNA from damage. Telomeres get a bit shorter each time a cell divides, so they are useful markers for aging.

The researchers found that the telomeres of people who had ever been depressed were significantly shorter -- about 83 to 84 base pairs of DNA shorter, on average -- than those of people who had never suffered from depression.

The results remained even after researchers accounted for a host of lifestyle factors that can also damage DNA, such as heavy drinking and cigarette smoking.

Since people naturally lose about 14 to 20 base pairs of DNA in the telomeres each year, the researchers said the difference represents about four to six years of advanced aging.

The study showed only an association between depression and shorter telomeres, and didn't prove a cause-and-effect link. The researchers said they aren't entirely sure what the shorter telomeres might mean in depression.

On one hand, study author Josine Verhoeven said, it could be that having shorter telomeres somehow sets a person up for mental troubles. But it's more likely that depression causes damage that leaves traces even at the cellular level, she said.

Depression is known to disrupt many physical systems. It alters hormones, suppresses the immune function and changes how nerves work. People with a history of depression have greater risks for diseases of aging, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia and cancer.

"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, resulting in accelerated biological aging," said Verhoeven, a doctoral researcher at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam.

The study was published online Nov. 12 in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

One expert said the study is significant in the number of people it involved.

"The strength of this report is its size," said Etienne Sibellie, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. He is studying how depression ages the brain.

Sibellie said previous research on the same question had mixed results -- probably because the studies were too limited to pick up the effect, which is small and varies from person to person.

"It's a small effect, but it's real," he said.

The next question science needs to answer, Sibellie said, is whether telomere shortening really matters and if reversing it could improve health. Other studies have shown that a healthier diet, exercise and measures to control stress may lengthen telomeres.

"It's just not known whether it has an impact on cell function," he said. "If that's the case, it has potential therapeutic importance."

More information

Head to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on healthy aging.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
  • Around the WebMore>>

  • GM boosting China production capacity to 5 million

    GM boosting China production capacity to 5 million

    Sunday, April 20 2014 10:52 AM EDT2014-04-20 14:52:53 GMT
    Sales of GM-brand vehicles in China should reach 5 million next year, and Cadillac sales will double to 100,000, the president of General Motors said Sunday.More >>
    The president of General Motors said Sunday that the company and local partners are boosting production capacity for GM-brand vehicles in China to 5 million.More >>
  • Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:03 AM EDT2014-04-20 13:03:14 GMT
    NASHPORT, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.Helen Felumlee (FEHL'-uhm-lee) of Nashport in central Ohio died April 12. She was 92. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died April 13.The couple's children say the two met as teenagers and had been inseparable since then.The Zanesville Times Recorder reports (http://ohne.ws/1in7erG) that the pair married Feb. 20, 1944, and raised eight children.Their...More >>
    NASHPORT, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.Helen Felumlee (FEHL'-uhm-lee) of Nashport in central Ohio died April 12. She was 92. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died April 13.The couple's children say the two met as teenagers and had been inseparable since then.The Zanesville Times Recorder reports (http://ohne.ws/1in7erG) that the pair married Feb. 20, 1944, and raised eight children.Their...More >>
  • Easter Bunny train sparks New Jersey brush fires

    Easter Bunny train sparks New Jersey brush fires

    Sunday, April 20 2014 8:31 AM EDT2014-04-20 12:31:46 GMT
    POHATCONG TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A train carrying the Easter Bunny in northwestern New Jersey has ignited several small brush fires.The Express-Times newspaper in Easton, Pennsylvania, reports the fires occurred Saturday in Pohatcong Township and Phillipsburg. No major property damage is reported. A firefighter from the New Jersey state forest fire service fell and dislocated his hip.Huntington Volunteer Fire Company Chief Peter Pursell tells the newspaper the diesel en...More >>
    POHATCONG TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A train carrying the Easter Bunny in northwestern New Jersey has ignited several small brush fires.The Express-Times newspaper in Easton, Pennsylvania, reports the fires occurred Saturday in Pohatcong Township and Phillipsburg. No major property damage is reported. A firefighter from the New Jersey state forest fire service fell and dislocated his hip.Huntington Volunteer Fire Company Chief Peter Pursell tells the newspaper the diesel en...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms