Senior citizens who suffer from depression are more likely to develop other serious health conditions.
A new study has shown that older people with depression can develop visceral fat in their bodies, which can lead to diabetes and heart disease, the Associated Press reports. Visceral fat surrounds the internal organs creating the more recognizable belly fat.
The study examined 2,088 people, all in their 70s, from the Memphis and Pittsburgh area over the course of five years, according to the article.
It was the first to find a connection between depression and weight gain.
Stephen Kritchevsky, director of the Stocht Center on Aging, told the AP the one silver lining is that visceral fat is easier to lose than subcutaneous far, which is found just beneath the skin.
"For the depressed public, it should be another reason to take one's symptoms seriously and look for treatment," said Kritchevsky.
Seniors can relieve depression by walking daily. A regimented schedule of 30 to 60 minutes a day can also control weight, assist with body circulation and reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease.