Major depressive disorder is associated with an increased risk of mortality and aging-related diseases. In this study, the authors examined whether major depression is associated with higher epigenetic aging in blood as measured by DNA methylation patterns, and whether clinical characteristics of major depression have a further impact on these patterns.

Compared with control subjects, patients with major depression exhibited higher epigenetic aging in blood and brain tissue, suggesting that they are biologically older than their corresponding chronological age. In the depression group, epigenetic aging was positively and significantly associated with childhood trauma score.

Han LKM, Aghajani M, Clark SL, Chan RF, Hattab MW, Shabalin AA, Zhao M, Kumar G,  Xie LY, Jansen R, Milaneschi Y, Dean B, Aberg KA, van den Oord EJCG, and Penninx BWJH: Epigenetic Aging in Major Depressive Disorder. Amer. J. Psychiatry 175:774–782 (2018).

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