Trends and Factors Associated with Suicide Deaths in Older Adults in Ontario, Canada
Keywords:older adult suicide, senior suicide, suicide, factors of suicide, mental health, population health
Suicide in older adults is a significant overlooked problem worldwide. This is especially true in Canada where a national suicide prevention strategy has not been established.
Using linked health-care administrative databases, this population-level study (2011 to 2015) described the incidence of older adult suicide (aged 65+), and identified clinical and socio-demographic factors associated with suicide deaths.
The findings suggest that suicide remains a persistent cause of death in older adults, with an average annual suicide rate of about 100 per million people over the five-year study per-iod. Factors positively associated with suicide vs. non-suicide death included being male, living in rural areas, having a mental illness, having a new dementia diagnosis, and hav-ing increased emergency department visits in the year prior to death; whereas, increased age, living in long-term care, having one or more chronic health condition, and increased interactions with primary health care were negatively associ-ated with a suicide death.
Factors associated with suicide death among older adults highlighted in this study may provide better insights for the development and/or improvement of suicide prevention pro-grams and policies.
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