Depression’s Unexpected Role in Accelerating Biological Aging

Just a friendly reminder that mental health is just as important as “physical” health. I suspect that the stress hormones (glucocorticoids and cortisol, etc.) are likely very high in chronic depression or anxiety situations, which is very harmful to the body and brain.

Researchers have found that older adults suffering from depression age faster than their peers.

Researchers at the University of Connecticut Center on Aging have found that older adults with depression age faster than their peers. This accelerated biological aging is associated with poor physical and brain health, though the severity of depression itself appears unrelated. Accelerated aging is linked to worse cardiovascular health, higher blood pressure, high cholesterol, multiple medical problems, and decreased cognitive performance. The study’s findings open up opportunities for preventive strategies to reduce disability associated with depression in older adults and slow down biological aging. Researchers are now exploring therapies to reduce senescent cells and personalized treatments based on specific patterns of aging-associated proteins.

Related stories:

Research Paper:

Reference: “Major depression, physical health and molecular senescence markers abnormalities” by Johanna Seitz-Holland, Benoit H. Mulsant, Charles F. Reynolds III, Daniel M. Blumberger, Jordan F. Karp, Meryl A. Butters, Ana Paula Mendes-Silva, Erica L. Vieira, George Tseng, Eric J. Lenze and Breno S. Diniz, 22 March 2023, Nature Mental Health.
DOI: 10.1038/s44220-023-00033-z


This is a really good point. I totally agree and am happy that studies confirm this. I always thought that being genuinely happy is the real fountain of youth. Of course mental health is complex matter and being happy and feeling happy consists of lot’s of factors. Having good, fulfilling relationships with others and yourself is the core.


Cause or effect, I don’t know… but something to be aware of:

People with advanced biological age are at greater risk of developing depression and anxiety

An analysis of UK Biobank data showed that risks of depression and anxiety increase with biological age, i.e., the physiological condition of an individual’s body. Biological age assessment in this study was based on a number of clinical traits and biomarkers using the Klemera-Doubal method and the PhenoAge algorithm. The study was published in Nature Communications.

And - other reminders on related topics:

Modern Aging Has Two Very New Dangers

Today’s oldsters must worry about outliving their money and their brain

  • People today take better care of their bodies than past generations, so they live longer.
  • Dementia typically starts in the 70s, and as more people live that long, more will suffer dementia.
  • Retirement plans have largely replaced pensions with a lump sum. If one lives long, the savings may run out.

Depression and Urban Deprivation: Unseen Accelerators of Biological Aging

Key Facts:

  1. The study used DNA methylation-based epigenetic clocks, which helped estimate the difference between chronological age and biological age.
  2. Depressive symptoms and living in a deprived urban neighborhood were found to be independently associated with accelerated biological aging.
  3. The study found that for every point increase in the depressive symptom score, the risk of death accelerates by one month.

Source: McMaster University