Can depression affect the way I age?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Of course, depression is associated with any age, but it can quickly make you feel, act, and look older-and have a seriously negative impact on aging.

For one, depression is tied to cardiovascular aging. In one study, men and women who had heart disease and depression had a 69 percent higher rate of death from heart disease than those who simply had heart disease and no depression. And in another study, depressed women were found to have lower bone density than those who weren't depressed, presumably from high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which was found in higher levels in the blood of depressed people.

But perhaps the biggest factors are the indirect effects depression can have on aging. Depression leads to behaviors that accelerate the aging process. For example, depressed people are less likely to eat well, exercise, or take other actions to improve their health.

YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

Continue Learning about Depression

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.