While it is widely known that high cholesterol can increase one's risk of a heart attack, new research has found that proper management of cholesterol levels can help prevent depression in senior citizens, SeniorJournal.com reports.
The findings were published in Biological Psychiatry and were based on a study that focused on a large population of men and women over the age of 65. The results indicated that women who had low levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL), sometimes referred to as "good cholesterol," were put at a greater risk for depression.
While low HDL levels can be harmful in elderly women, the findings were less conclusive when it came to men.
"Our results suggest that clinical management of abnormal lipid levels may reduce depression in the elderly, but different treatment will be required according to sex," Dr Marie-Laure Ancelin, an author of the study, told the news source.
According to WebMD.com, depression later in life affects as many as 6 million Americans over the age of 65. Despite its prevalence, only about 10 percent of the elderly who suffer from clinical depression receive treatment.