As scientists continue to debate whether depression is hereditary, a new research published Wednesday suggests that people, whose parents and grandparents dealt with depression, are at a higher risk of having major depressive disorder.
In the U.S., depression is one of the most common mental disorders. Latest data provided by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) states that nearly 16 million adults in America aged 18 or older experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2014. About two of 100 children and eight out of 100 teenagers are likely to have serious depression, according to NIMH. The lifetime risk is about 17 percent.
Authors of the study published in JAMA Psychiatry Wednesday said that the findings can help identify people who can be benefited from early intervention.
For the research, Myrna M. Weissman, Ph.D., of Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute examined 251 grandchildren with an average age of 18. They were interviewed an average of two times, their biological parents were interviewed an average of nearly five times and grandparents interviewed up to 30 years.