Suicide in elderly people: a literature review

Rev Saude Publica. 2010 Aug;44(4):750-7. doi: 10.1590/s0034-89102010000400020.
[Article in English, Portuguese]

Abstract

A literature review was carried out focusing on the main factors associated with suicidal ideation, attempts and completed suicide in elders. The following databases were searched: MEDLINE, PsychINFO, SciELO and Biblioteca Virtual em Violência e Saúde da BIREME (BIREME's Violence and Health Virtual Library), referring to the period from 1980 to 2008. Fifty-two references were selected and analyzed. They showed a strong relationship among suicide ideation, attempt and completion in elderly individuals, which results from the interaction of complex physical, mental, neurobiological and social factors. Suicide associated with depression in the elderly can be prevented, provided the person is properly treated. In Brazil, it is necessary to invest in research, given the persistent increase in suicide rates among aged people, especially among males.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Suicide Prevention*
  • Suicide* / psychology
  • Suicide* / statistics & numerical data