Two key factors predict unfavorable outcomes for older adults suffering from chronic major depression, new research has found. 

In middle‐aged and older adults, those who experience greater severity of initial depression symptoms and a greater number of chronic disease diagnoses are more likely to have persistent and increasing depression symptoms over time, according to study results published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Researchers conducted a population-based study of over 15,600 patients aged 51 years or older with major depression. Data was obtained from the U.S. Health and Retirement Study from 2008 to 2016.

The authors suggest that their findings be used to assess older adults with chronic major depression for further screening and intervention.