Elderly suicide: a multi-national view
Abstract Males age 75 and older have the highest rates of suicide in nearly all industrialized countries. A fairly consistent pattern of risk factors for elderly suicides, in contrast to younger victims, includes major depression diagnoses without comorbid substance use, and comorbid physical illness. Older suicides also demonstrate greater lethality of self-destructive behaviors compared to younger groups. With regard to service use, reports from the US, UK and Japan find that most of the elderly suicides have contact with a primary health care provider in the month prior to the suicide. Altogether, these findings suggest means for primary and secondary prevention efforts. This paper summarizes research findings and recent prevention efforts from several nations.