Year: 2008 Source: American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, v.16, no.9, (September 2008), p.727-735 SIEC No: 20100785

This cross-sectional study evaluated the role of several variables hypothesized in prior research to be associated with suicide in older adults. A psychological autopsy study of 99 elderly suicide victims, age 65 & older, in the province of Parma & Piacenza who died between 1994-2004 was done. 134 younger suicide victims (younger adults, aged less than 36 & adults, aged 36-64 years) formed a comparison group. Elderly victims were 9 times more likely to live alone, 26 times more likely to be retired, & 14 times more likely to have attended school for no more than 5 years than adult suicides. Only 20-30% of elderly suicides had been treated with medications. Physicians should be aware that the concomitant presence of depressive symptoms & several life events could be warning signs of suicidal behaviour. (52 refs.) JA