Chronic depression has many negative effects on health, and the immune system is a primary pathway. Depression boosts production of interleukin 6, a chemical messenger for the immune system; high levels of IL-6 have been linked to long-term inflammation, which, in turn, is implicated in a spectrum of age-related diseases including heart disease, type II diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease, periodontal disease, and even frailty and functional decline.
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