Year: 2006 Source: International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, v.21, no.2, (February 2006), p.113-118 SIEC No: 20060994

Hong Kong was struck by an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in 2003. The suicide rate among the elderly showed a sharp upturn in 2003 from a previous downward trend. Secondary analyses on government suicide statistics were performed. 2002 served as the reference year. The elderly suicide rate increased to 37.46 per 100,000 in 2003, with an incident rate ratio of 1.32 relative to 2002. This trend was preserved when 1993-2003 rates for elderly females were analyzed. The same trend was not found for elderly men or younger age groups. Factors contributing to these findings are discussed. (12 refs.)