The Health Status of Elderly Persons in the Last Year of Life: A Comparison of Deaths by Suicide, Injury, and Natural Causes
OBJECTIVES: This study identified health status variables related to suicide by elderly persons and compared the health status of suicide decedents with natural death and injury decedents.
METHODS: Data were obtained from the 1986 National Mortality Followback Survey.
RESULTS: When other variables were controlled for, suicide decedents were significantly more likely than injury decedents to have a history of cancer (odds ratio [OR] = 51.94), moderate (OR = 29.37) or heavy (OR = 22.87) alcohol use, and mental or emotional disorder (OR = 10.91) and to be White (OR = 18.54) and male (OR = 9.12).
CONCLUSIONS: The findings indicate that a history of cancer should be considered as a risk for suicide in the elderly.
American Journal of Public Health