Suicide in Old Age
From a global perspective, after averaging the rates of each individual country reporting mortality data to the World Health Organization, older people have higher rates of suicide than any other age group (De Leo, Draper, & Krysinska, 2009). However, as a cause of death, suicide ranks well below causes such as cardiovascular diseases (myocardial infarction, stroke), lung cancer, etc., while it represents the leading cause of death in both men and women aged 25-44 years (De Leo & Evans, 2004). Despite globally peaking in old age, suicide distribution significantly differs from country to country. In Europe and China, rates of suicide are highest in old age(> 65 years) and continue to escalate (especially in men) with advancing age. In Japan, typically, suicides in males have a peak around 45---64 years of age (a so-called suicide hump) and then decline. The same peak is not present in women. In South Korea, in both sexes, suicide rates peak around the age of 75 and then decline. In the Pacific Islands, suicide rates usually peak early in life. In South America, patterns of age distribution are not homogeneous, and in a number of countries (e.g., Peru), peaks are not clearly identifiable with sufficient consistency. These distinct age distribution rates of suicide mortality have been interpreted as meaning that cultural influences might operate in different areas of the world, thus providing rather consistent and characteristic patterns, identifiable as the European, the Japanese, the Pacific, and the South American epidemiological profiles of suicide distribution based on age.
Resources for Suicide Prevention: Bridging Research and Practice
Psychology not elsewhere classified