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Compr Psychiatry. 2016 Aug;69:1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2016.04.014. Epub 2016 Apr 28.

Male suspected suicide decedents in Utah: A comparison of Veterans and nonveterans.

Author information

1
University of Utah School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Salt Lake City, UT, United States; Veterans Affairs VISN 19 Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, Salt Lake City, UT, United States. Electronic address: Erin.McGlade@hsc.utah.edu.
2
University of Utah School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Salt Lake City, UT, United States.
3
University of Utah School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Salt Lake City, UT, United States; Veterans Affairs VISN 19 Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, Salt Lake City, UT, United States.
4
Utah Department of Health, Utah States Office of the Medical Examiner, Salt Lake City, UT, United States.

Abstract

There has been significant debate regarding suicide risk in Veterans compared to nonveterans. However, few studies have examined similarities and differences between Veteran and nonveteran suicide decedents using a combination of next of kin psychological autopsy and data from a state Office of the Medical Examiner (OME). For the current study, next of kin of a one-year cohort of male suspected suicide decedents in Utah completed psychological autopsy interviews with trained research staff. Next of kin of 70 Veterans and 356 nonveterans completed the interviews, which included demographic, behavioral, psychosocial, and clinical variables. The psychological autopsy data then were combined with OME data for the presented analyses. Results showed that Veteran and nonveteran suicide decedents differed on multiple factors, including age at death. Specifically, male nonveteran suicide decedents were younger at age of death compared to Utah Veterans and to a national sample. Veteran decedents also were more likely to have a history of suicide attempts and more likely to have access to firearms compared to nonveterans. Other between-group differences, including Veterans being more likely to have lived alone and method of death (e.g., gunshot, hanging, etc.), were no longer statistically significant after adjustment for age at death.

CONCLUSIONS:

these findings have significant clinical and practical importance, as they highlight the risk for suicide in younger nonveterans and older Veterans in Utah.

PMID:
27423339
DOI:
10.1016/j.comppsych.2016.04.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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