Suicide in the Elderly

  • Nages Nagaratnam
  • Kujan Nagaratnam
  • Gary Cheuk
Reference work entry


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.


Suicide in late life Male suicide rate Assessment of suicide risk Suicidal intent 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nages Nagaratnam
    • 1
  • Kujan Nagaratnam
    • 1
  • Gary Cheuk
    • 2
  1. 1.The University of SydneyWestmead Clinical SchoolWestmeadAustralia
  2. 2.Rehabilitation and Aged Care ServiceBlacktown-Mt Druitt HospitalMount DruittAustralia

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