Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Personality study shows risk of first depression episode late in life

Even after the age of 70, people prone to feelings of anxiety, worry, distress and insecurity face a risk for a first lifetime episode of clinically significant depression, according to a unique study led by a University of Rochester Medical Center researcher.

“We assume that because depression has not developed for people with these personality traits by the age of 70 that it won’t develop,” said Paul R. Duberstein, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry who led the study. “But even in older adulthood, these traits confer risk. Presumably something about aging helps take down the façade or destroys the protective sheath that has kept them from significant depression.”

The findings from the prospective study, the first of its kind, are published in the May issue of the journal Psychological Medicine.

Having a working-class background also may place older adults at heightened risk for depression, particularly prior to the age of 80, the study found. Consistent with previous research, women were found to be at greater risk than men. The study enhances the understanding of late-life depression and could aid in the identification and treatment of people at risk.

“The findings suggest that long-standing personality traits can predict onset of depression into older adulthood,” said Duberstein, who is director of the Laboratory of Personality and Development at the Medical Center.

The researchers utilized data from a multi-disciplinary study of 70-year-old residents of Göteborg, Sweden, that began in 1971 to gain a greater understanding of aging and age-related disorders.

Because most people in Sweden receive their health care through a public health system, the study had access to decades of medical records. Data collection also involved physical and mental health examinations and a social assessment. After the initial test, participants were examined over a 15-year period at the ages of 75, 79, 81, 83 and 85.

For the current study, researchers eliminated people at age 70 with dementia and other psychiatric disorders. In all, the records of 275 people were analyzed. There were 59 cases of first lifetime episodes of depression after the age of 70.

“Although we are aware of no research on how people who are highly distress prone manage to stave off clinically significant depression, protective factors might play a role,” the study authors state. “Candidate protective factors include close personal relationships, rewarding occupations or meaningful hobbies, physical vigor and vitality, economic independence, and spiritual well-being. Processes related to aging might inexorably erode some of these protective factors.”

The researchers urge more study of the relationships between personality, age and first lifetime episodes of depression.

“This is a particularly important issue for older men, given their high suicide rate in many Western countries, and the observation that they often take their lives in the midst of a first lifetime episode of depression,” the researchers state.

Michael Wentzel | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>