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Int Psychogeriatr. 2007 Dec;19(6):1141-52. Epub 2007 Apr 16.

The relationship between suicide rates and age: an analysis of multinational data from the World Health Organization.

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1
West London Mental Health NHS Trust and Imperial College School of Medicine, London, UK. ajit.shah@wlmht.nhs.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Suicide rates generally increase with age. With the emergence of studies from several countries without an increase in suicides rates with aging, a cross-national study examining the relationship between suicide rates and age was undertaken.

METHODS:

The relationship between suicide rates and age was examined by ascertaining suicide rates in both sexes in seven age-bands 16-24 years, 25-34 years, 35-44 years, 45-54 years, 55-64 years, 65-74 years and 75+ years, from the World Health Organization website for all the listed countries (N = 62).

RESULTS:

The main findings were: (i) there was a significant increase in suicide rates with increasing age in males and females in 25 and 27 countries respectively; (ii) there was no significant increase in suicide rates with increasing age in males and females in 31 and 29 countries respectively; (iii) suicide rates were the highest in the younger age-bands in countries without a significant increase in male suicides rates with increasing age; (iv) countries without a significant increase in the suicide rate with increasing age in both sexes, females only and males only demonstrated regional clustering; and, (v) in a small number of countries suicide rates declined with increasing age.

CONCLUSIONS:

Potential explanations for regional and cross-national variations in the relationship between suicide rates and age require further study.

PMID:
17433118
DOI:
10.1017/S1041610207005285
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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