Suicide in the Elderly
Depression is a significant risk factor for suicide in late life and represents 85% of older adults dying by suicide. There is a strong association between physical illness and suicide among the elderly. Cancer, prostate disorder, chronic pulmonary disease, and psychiatric illness appear to be associated with suicide in the elderly. Older men have a significantly higher rate than women for committing suicide. The male suicide rate increases with age peaking in the late 1940s and then falling in the 1980s. The review provides an overview of the prevalence of suicide in the elderly followed by assessment of suicide risk and prevention.
KeywordsSuicide in late life Male suicide rate Assessment of suicide risk Suicidal intent
- 1.Conwell Y, Brent D. Suicide and aging I: Patterns of psychiatric diagnosis. In: Pearson JL, Conwell Y, editors: Suicide International Perspectives. Springer; New York: 1996. pp 15–30.Google Scholar
- 11.Harriss L, Hauton K, Zahl D. Values of increasing suicidal intent in the assessment of people already hospitalized for self-poisoning and self-injury. Br J Psychiatry. 2005;106:10–6.Google Scholar
- 13.McIntosh JL. Suicide among the elderly: levels and trends. J Orthopsychiatry. 1985;55:75–82.Google Scholar
- 14.Bilsker D, White J. The silent epidemic of male suicide. BMCJ. 2011;5010):529–534Google Scholar
- 16.Rull G. Suicide Risk Assessment website: http://www.patientcv.uk/slowdoc/40000600/ accessed 14.3.09.
- 18.PATHOS and self injury scale. Health in Wales, 2012.Google Scholar
- 20.BMJ Best Practice. Suicide Risk Management. Bestpractice.bmj-com/best-practice/monographs/1016/diagnosis/step-by-step.htmlGoogle Scholar
- 21.SPRC. Suicide Prevention and Resource Centre- Risks and protective factors for suicide. http://www.sprc.org/sites/sprc.org/files/library/srisk.pdf. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- 22.Zealberg JJ, Santos AB. Comprehensive Emerging Mental Health Care New York WW, Norton, 1996.Google Scholar
- 23.Thienhaus OJ, Piasecki 1997. Assessment of suicide risk. Psychiatric Srv. 1997;48(3):293–294.Google Scholar
- 24.Cattell H. Suicide in the elderly. Advances in Psychiatric treatment. 2000;6:102–108. https://doi.org/10.1192/apt.6.2.102.
- 25.US Public Health Services. The surgeon general’s call to action to prevent suicide. Washington DC US Department of Health and Human Services, 1999. website: http://www.urgeongeneral.gov/library/calltoaction/default.htm.
- 26.Suicide Prevention & Support Network. Self esteem and its impact on suicidal tendencies. http://supportaftersuicide.com.au/self-esteem-and-its-impact-on-suicidal-tendencies. Accessed 16 January 2017.