Suicide among the elderly and associated factors in South Korea.
Shin, KM; Cho, SM; Hong, CH; Park, KS; Shin, YM; Lim, KY; Koh, SH
Aging & mental health, 7(1):109-114, 2013
Aging & mental health
With the population of the elderly increasing, suicides among elderly people present a serious problem for global societies. However, there are few studies on suicide among elderly subjects, especially in Asia. The study aimed to determine the relationship between physical health, mental health, social environmental condition, and the suicide behavior among elderly subjects in the city of Suwon, located southeast of Seoul. We analyzed 1548 Korean aged over 60 years from baseline data of a larger prospective study called the Suwon Project. The study protocol included sociodemographic variables, mental health factors, and physical health factors. In the interview, the subjects were asked about suicide ideation and history of suicide attempt. Of the total subjects, 7.42% reported suicide ideation and 1.42% reported a history of suicide attempt. A logistic regression analysis showed that physical illness, five stroke warning signs, anxiety and depression associated with suicide ideation, and depression strongly corresponded to the suicide ideation. Anxiety, depression, and stroke warning signs were associated with history of suicide attempt among the elderly. Additionally, stroke warning signs and depression are independently associated with history of suicide attempt. This study revealed that stroke warning signs have a high correlation with history of suicide attempt in the elderly, independent from the depression factors. This study suggests that there is an independent relationship between physical health status and suicide behavior in the case of elders.
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