Tuesday, May 29, 2007

TO READ: Extend Your Life by Treating Your Depression?
It's long been known that if you follow a group of people -- half depressed and half not -- for several years, more of the depressed ones tend to die during that period. But now there's good news: A recent study shows that if you treat the depressed people, they live longer.

In the study, researchers took half of the depressed group, all over 60 years old, and treated them with either medication or psychotherapy. The other half went untreated. They found that the treated people were only half as likely to die during the study as they untreated group. (This was after controlling for age, sex, smoking habits, level of education and current physical illnesses.)

Although the scientists don't know why yet, the decrease in deaths came nearly all in the group of patients who also had cancer.

Here's yet another reason to treat your depression, either with meds or psychotherapy -- in addition to feeling less depressed, you may just live longer too.

For more info: Joseph J. Gallo, The Annals of Internal Medicine, May 15, 2007.

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