Year: 1989 Source: Geriatrics, v.44, no.9, (September 1989), p.43-47, 51 SIEC No: 19902029

In the USA, 1/4 of all suicides are completed by citizens aged 60 or older. The majority use a firearm to do so. Most elderly look to their physician for help, although they may not directly express their plan. Physicians must be alert to clues. The principal risk factor is major depression & risk is heightened by recent losses, alcohol or drug abuse, psychosis, cognitive decline & chronic disease. Physicians must act decisively because suicidality is a transient, treatable condition. (24 refs.)