Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Psychiatr Res. 2013 Nov;47(11):1766-75. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2013.07.015. Epub 2013 Aug 28.

Suicidality among older male veterans in the United States: results from the National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study.

Author information

National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, USA; Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA. Electronic address:


Older men have a higher rate of suicide than the general population, but little is known about the prevalence and correlates of suicidality among older male veterans. In this study, we evaluated the prevalence, and risk and protective factors associated with current suicidal ideation (SI) and past suicide attempt (SA) in a contemporary, nationally representative sample of older male veterans. We analyzed data from 1962 male veterans aged 60 or older who participated in the National Health and Resilience Veterans Survey (NHRVS) between October and December 2011. Bivariate analyses and multivariate logistic regression were used to evaluate risk and protective factors associated with current SI and past SA in the full sample, and separately among combat and non-combat veterans. Six percent of the sample reported past 2-week SI, and combat veterans were more likely to contemplate suicide (9.2%) than non-combat (4.0%) veterans. Lifetime SA was reported by 2.6% of respondents. Major depression and physical health difficulties were the strongest risk factors for SI in combat veterans, while generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) was the strongest risk factor for SI in non-combat veterans. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was independently associated with SI in both groups of veterans, and social connectedness was negatively related to SI in both groups. These results suggest that a significant proportion of older male veterans in the United States contemplates suicide, with higher rates of SI among combat than non-combat veterans. Interventions designed to mitigate psychological distress and physical difficulties, and to promote social connectedness may help mitigate suicidality risk in this population.


Older; Protective; Resilience; Risk; Suicidal ideation; Suicide; Veterans

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center