Trends of completed suicide rates among Malaysian elderly between 1995 and 2020
Bakar, N.S.A., Zainuddin, N.A., Seman, Z., Khamal, N.R., & Ismail, M.H.
Background Suicide among the elderly has become a global public health concern. This study was carried out to determine the trend of completed suicide rates according to age, sex, and ethnicity and the suicidal methods among the elderly in Malaysia. Methods All suicide-related deaths in elderly aged 60 years and above from the Year 1995 to 2020 reported to the National Registration Department (NRD) were analyzed. Causes of death for suicide were coded based on the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th Revision (ICD-10). The completed suicide rate was calculated by dividing the completed suicide number by the total elderly population for the respective year. Results Overall, the analysis of 1,600 suicide-related deaths was investigated over 26 years. Male was seen to be correlated with higher suicidal risk, with a male–female relative risk (RR) = 1.89 (95%CI:1.46,2.45). The risk of suicide was also found to be significantly higher for those aged 60 to 74 years old and Chinese, with RR = 4.26 (95%CI:2.94, 6.18) and RR = 5.81 (95%CI: 3.70, 9.12), respectively. Hanging was found to be a statistically significant suicide method (IRR:4.76, 95%CI:2.34,9.65) as compared to pesticide poisoning. The completed suicide rate was fluctuating over the years. Conclusions In conclusion, it is believed that Malaysia's elderly suicide rate has reached an alarmingly high incidence. By identifying the crucial criteria of sociodemographic factors, the government and responsible agencies have the essential and additional information to put together a more effective strategy and approach to overcome the issue in the future.