Age and suicidal ideation in older depressed inpatients

Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. Fall 1999;7(4):289-96.


Age-related patterns of symptom presentation may complicate the recognition of suicide risk. The authors sought to determine whether there is a relationship between age and reported suicidal ideation in depressed suicide attempters (DSAs) and depressed nonattempters (DNs) 50 years of age and over. Regression analyses revealed that increasing age is significantly associated with the absence of suicidal ideation in both DSAs and DNs. Because of their lower rates of depressed mood and suicidal ideation, the depressions of older adults may more readily escape detection. Preventive or treatment measures initiated after the onset of the suicidal state may be insufficient, and other preventive strategies ought to be considered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Death
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inpatients
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mood Disorders / complications
  • Mood Disorders / psychology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Regression Analysis
  • Suicide / prevention & control*
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / prevention & control
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology
  • Thinking*