Year: 2020 Source: Legal Medicine. (2020). 46, 101721. SIEC No: 20200739

As the older population steadily grows, a corresponding increase in elderly suicides is also expected. In addition, due to differences in the physical and psychosocial characteristics of this age group, the characteristics of elderly suicides are predicted to be different to those of other groups. In this study, we aimed to report the characteristics of suicides 60 years and older according to sex and age subgroups. We retrospectively reviewed the autopsy reports of individuals aged 60 and older who committed suicide in Turkey during the 10-year period between 2005 and 2014. Their age, sex, cause of death, and year, month, season, place, and method of suicide were analyzed. Comparisons were made based on sex, age subgroup, demographic variables, and descriptive characteristics of the suicides. Of 17,942 forensic autopsies, 525 were elderly suicides. Of these, 77.3% were men and the mean age was 71.26 ± 8.16 (range, 60–94) years. There were statistically significant differences in suicide method according to sex (p < 0.001, X = 43.984) and age subgroups (p = 0.001, X = 51.457). For both sexes, hanging was the most common suicide method (59.4%) and the majority of suicides occurred at home (73.1%). The suicides occurred more frequently in the 65–74 age subgroup, in the summer, and in the months of June and July. Identifying the characteristics of elderly suicides, especially by sex and age subgroups, may be beneficial for suicide risk assessment and the development of prediction and prevention programs.