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Treatment for Depression May Extend Life

separator New research indicates that treating depression may help extend life span. It's long been established that being depressed increases the risk of death, but there had been no evidence that treating the depression would change that risk.

A study took 600 patients who met the criteria for major depression or "clinically significant" minor depression. The group was divided in half. One group entered a depression treatment program that included psychotherapy and medication. The treatment was part of a primary-care-based practice. The other group received no treatment for depression.

After five years, there was no difference in the survival rates of people with minor depression, but people who were treated for major depression were half as likely to die as those who did not receive treatment. While this is only one study, the results certainly indicate that if you or a loved one is suffering from major depression, there's really no good reason not to get treatment.

Annals of Internal Medicine, 15 May 2007
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