Suicide, Older Adulthood

Published on Jan 1, 2003
· DOI :10.1007/978-1-4615-0195-4_163
Brian L. Mishara1
Estimated H-index: 1
This entry considers suicide and its prevention in persons over 65. Contrary to popular beliefs that suicide is a phenomenon of youth, in developed countries persons over age 65 usually have the highest suicide rates, and worldwide suicide statistics indicate a dramatic increase in suicide rates with advanced age (World Health Organization [WHO], 2000). This association between suicide and old age is evident in the United States where the highest suicide rate for all age-gender-race groups is in White men over age 85 (Murphy, 2000). White men over 85 had in 1996 a suicide rate of 65.4 per 100,000 population, which is almost six times the rate for all other age groups. Despite the association between increased suicide risk and advanced age, few primary prevention programs focus upon older persons.
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