[Press and Publications] Study Lifts the Lid on Depression [Medical]

April 2000 No 74


While depression and suicides among young people are on the increase, a study by the University of Leicester has found that the elderly seem to be coping better with the rigours of 21st century living.

In this cyber age of rapid technological change, a two year study of 65-74 year olds in a Leicestershire town found them to be marginally less depressed than average, and memory loss was less common than expected.

The findings contrast sharply with figures for depression in young people - suicide is responsible for almost one-fifth of deaths in young people, and depression accounts for approximately three-quarters of all suicides. It is estimated that two young people take their lives needlessly each day as a result of depression.

April 10 sees the start of National Depression Week which is part of a National Depression Campaign 2000 which aims to raise awareness about the condition.

At the University of Leicester, the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health along with Latham House Medical Practice in Melton Mowbray, have been studying depression and dementia among 65 -74 year old adults. The project was funded by the Regional Office of the National Health Service Executive for Trent.

It found: