Year: 2023 Source: British Journal of General Practice. (2023). doi: 10.3399/BJGP.2022.0589 SIEC No: 20231398
Background Reducing suicide risk in middle-aged males (40–54 years) is a national priority. People have often presented to their GP within 3 months before suicide thus highlighting an opportunity for early intervention. Aim To describe the sociodemographic characteristics and identify antecedents in middle-aged males who recently consulted a GP before dying by suicide. Design and setting This study was a descriptive examination of suicide in a national consecutive sample of middle-aged males in 2017 in England, Scotland, and Wales. Method General population mortality data were obtained from the Office for National Statistics and National Records of Scotland. Information was collected about antecedents considered relevant to suicide from data sources. Logistic regression examined associations with final recent GP consultation. Males with lived experience were consulted during the study. Results In 2017, a quarter (n = 1516) of all suicide deaths were in middle-aged males. Data were attained on 242 males: 43% had their last GP consultation within 3 months of suicide; and a third of these males were unemployed and nearly half were living alone. Males who saw a GP recently before suicide were more likely to have had recent self-harm and work-related problems than males who had not. Having a current major physical illness, recent self-harm, presenting with a mental health problem, and recent work-related issues were associated with having a last GP consultation close to suicide. Conclusion Clinical factors were identified that GPs should be alert to when assessing middle-aged males. Personalised holistic management may have a role in preventing suicide in these individuals.