Depression may accelerate aging at the cellular level and lead to premature death, according to a new study.

Major depressive disorder (MDD) has previously been found to be a risk factor for many different aging-related diseases, including cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis; it’s also been associated with early mortality. So researchers have hypothesized that depression may  prompt a biological process inside the body that accelerates aging, according to the study published April 6 in the journal Translational Psychiatry.