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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2005 Feb;35(1):91-105.

Correlates of suicide in the older adult population in Quebec.

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Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada.


This study was undertaken to describe the characteristics of adults aged 60 years and over who committed suicide in Quebec in 1998-1999. In this study, 42.6% of the suicide cases presented mental disorders at the time of their death, mainly depression. Sixty-five (65.3%) percent of the suicide cases would have been considered as having a mental health disorder if sub-threshold depression cases were included. Only 27.7% of the cases did not express any idea of death during the 6-month period preceding their suicide. One interesting finding was that 53.5% of the suicide cases consulted a general practitioner or specialist during the 2-week period preceding their death. Our results showed that only 8.1% had a severe level of functional limitations at the time of their death. This result leads us to interpret with caution the conclusion of some studies suggesting that physical frailty is a major causal factor associated with suicide among the elderly.

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