Researchers at a major medical institution in the US have discovered the prime factors which identify which older people are at the highest risk for developing major depression.
University of Rochester Medical Center staff led by Jeffrey M Lyness, the professor of psychiatry, revealed results in this month's issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.
He explained: "People with low-level depressive symptoms, who perceive that they have poor quality social support from other people, and with a past history of depression, were at particularly high risk to develop new major depression within the one-to-four year time period of the study."
However, preventative treatments for those most affected by the issue hold a lot of promise for providing great health benefits at a low cost, such as exercise, medication and other psychotherapy.
The University of Rochester Medical Center receives more than $145 million (£90 million) in federal research funding, while its School of Nursing ranks 12th highest in funding across the country.