Researchers in Japan have found that young caregivers who look after family members over prolonged periods have 2.49 times the likelihood of suffering from depression when they perform such duties at the age of 14.

The discovery comes amid a prediction by experts that the burden on young people to provide care within their families will increase due to a rapidly aging population.

Based on a joint study by the University of Tokyo and the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science published in the Journal of Adolescent Health on Wednesday, individuals age 10 to 16 who care for sick family members for extended periods of time are at a higher risk of developing mental health problems compared to those who do not do so.