Suicide rates in five-year age-bands after the age of 60 years: The international landscape

Ajit Shah, Ravi Bhat, Sofia Zarate-Escudero, Diego Deleo, Annette Erlangsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: There is paucity of studies examining suicide rates in narrow five-year age-bands after the age of 60 years. This study examined suicide rates in eight five-year age-bands between the age of 60 and 99 years because this will allow more precise comparison between the young old (60-79 years) and the oldest old (80+ years) age groups.Methods: Data on the number of suicides (International Classification of Diseases - ICD-10 codes, X60-84) in each of the eight five-year age-bands between the age-bands 60-64 years and 95-99 years in both gender for as many years as possible from 2000 were ascertained from three sources: colleagues with access to national data, national statisics office websites and email contact with the national statistics offices. The population size for the corresponding years and age-bands was estimated for each country using data provided by the United Nations website.Results: In men, suicide rates continued to increase for each of the seven five-year age-bands from 60-64 years to 90-94 years age-band, and then declined slightly for the 95-99 year age-band. In women, suicide rates continued to increase for each of the six five-year age-bands from 60-64 years to 85-89 years age-bands, and then declined slightly for the 90-94 years and 95-99 years age-bands.Conclusions: The overall global suicide rates for each of the eight five-year age-bands are sufficiently large for them to constitute a public health concern. This is especially important given the ongoing rise in the elderly population size and the paucity of data on risk and protective factors for suicide in the five-year age-bands after the age of 60 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-138
Number of pages8
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

Keywords

  • oldest old
  • suicide
  • suicide rates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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