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Web surfing reduces depression in seniors

PHOENIX, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Surfing the Internet reduces depression among senior citizens, a report says.

The report, released Friday by the Phoenix Center, a nonprofit group that studies broadband Internet policy issues, said going online had reduced depression among seniors by 20 percent, The Hill reported.

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Calling Internet use a "treatment" for depression among older adults, the report said it fosters interpersonal communication, reduces loneliness and improves the sense of well-being.

And ultimately, increasing Web surfing among seniors could reduce the national health tab, the report said.

But the report's authors note the Pew Internet & American Life project has found only about 42 percent of those 65 and older use the Net.

"Efforts to expand broadband use in the U.S. must eventually tackle the problem of low adoption in the elderly population," George S. Ford, co-author of the study, said in a statement.

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