Senior's Suicide

Menstuff® has compiled information on suicide in our senior population. Men 65 and older account for about 10 percent of the U.S. population. But about 33 percent of suicides are among men in this age group.

The International Suicide Prevention Wiki is an open source worldwide directory of suicide prevention hotlines, online chat, text-lines, and resources. This resource was created and is maintained by PostSecret Community volunteers.
Source: suicideprevention.wikia.com/wiki/International_Suicide_Prevention_Directory

Suicide in Men over 50: An Epidemic
Depression
Newsbytes

 

Suicide in Men over 50: An Epidemic


Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, resulting in over 30,000 deaths per year. This is clearly an underestimate of the true figure since many suicides are not recorded as such because of social stigma, financial considerations, and other factors. For as long as statistics about suicide have been collected in the United States there has been a very consistent strong association between suicide and 3 factors: age, gender, and race. Though women have many more suicide attempts than men, per attempt, a man is 4 times more likely to die than a woman; in fact, white males accounted for 73% of all suicides in the US in 1996.

From 1970 to 1998, US annual suicide rates per 100,000 rose from 16.2 to 18.7 in men, but decreased from 6.8 to 4.5 in women. In 1998, the rate of suicide in white men was 20.3/100,000 and in nonwhite men was 10.5/100,000; in male youths aged 15-24 years, these rates were 19.3 for whites and 15.6 for nonwhites (Table 1). Among the US elderly (aged 65+), 1998 suicide rates among elderly women were similar to those among women of all ages (4.7/100,000), but rates increased significantly for elderly men (from 18.7 to 34.1/100,000). When categorized by race, these rates of suicide among elderly white men substantially increase (from 20.3 to 36.6/100,000) and increase moderately in nonwhite elderly men (from10.5 to 13.7/100,000). According to 1997 data from the National Institute of Mental Health, the highest rate of suicide is among white men older than age 85 (65/100,000).

Table 1. Suicide Rates in the US, 1998 Data Rate/M

Group

# Suicides
All Ages
Elderly
65+
Youth
15-24

Nation

30,575
11.3
16.9
11.1

Whites

27,648
12.4
18.1
11.6

Nonwhites

2,927
6.2
6.9
9.2

Blacks

1,977
5.7
5.3
8.6

Women

6,037
4.4
4.7
3.3

Men

24,538
18.6
34.1
18.5

White

22,174
20.3
36.6
19.3

Nonwhite

2,364
10.5
13.7
15.6

Black

1,659
10.2
11.6
15.0
Source: Adapted from American Association of Suicidology. U.S.A. Suicide: 1998
Official Final Data. Available at:
www.suicidology.org/index.html.[42]   

Thus in the United States the suicide cohort is overwhelmingly white, male, and older than age of 60. Strikingly, the relationship between age, gender and suicide is consistent throughout the world and across cultures. Although base rates of individual countries may vary, data from Western Europe, Asia, and South America quite consistently show that in all countries suicide is significantly more prevalent among men and that after age 60 the suicide rate for men dramatically increases.

There is a well-established strong association between depression and suicide. About 90% of suicides result from treatable mental disorders, most commonly depression or substance abuse disorder ." Despite very effective treatments for depression, there has not been a significant reduction in the suicide rate in the United States, specifically no dramatic reduction in the rate of suicide in men over age 60. The argument that doctors do not have the opportunity to treat patients who commit suicide is not supported by the data. Among people who commit suicide, 20% have seen a physician on the day of the suicide, 40% have seen a physician within1week and 70% have seen a physician within 1 month. Physicians may not be routinely evaluating suicide potential at each office visit for the high-risk population of older men.

Source: psychiatry.medscape.com/Medscape/Psychiatry/ClinicalUpdate/2001/cu01/cu01-05.html

Other Resources: Related issues - Depression, Seniors, Suicide. Books. Resources: Seniors, Suicide

Newsbytes



Older Adults: Depression and Suicide Facts


Major depression, a significant predictor of suicide in older adults, is a widely underrecognized and undertreated medical illness.
Source: www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/EMIHC272/35132/35252/363544.html?d=dmtContent

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Lord save us all from old age and broken health and a hope tree that has lost the faculty of putting out blossoms. - Mark Twain



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