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Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1992 Dec;43(12):1198-203.

Chronic dyspnea and suicide in elderly men.

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Rush University Graduate College of Nursing, Chicago, Illinois.


In a structured psychological autopsy study of suicide in older adults, 14 cases in which the subjects experienced chronic dyspnea in the months or weeks before death were examined. Thirteen of the subjects were white men. Most had a diagnosable psychiatric disorder, although none had previous contact with a mental health professional. Other common characteristics were chronic or terminal heart or lung disease, very recent contact with a primary physician, prior experience of self or a significant other suffering a debilitating disease, and a fiercely independent and inflexible personality type. The cases illustrate the intricacy of risk factors associated with suicide and alert other investigators and health care professionals to a possible link between chronic dyspnea and suicide risk.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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