Suicide in older men: the health in men cohort study (HIMS)

Almeida, Osvaldo P., McCaul, Kieran, Hankey, Graeme J., Yeap, Bu B., Golledge, Jonathan, and Flicker, Leon (2016) Suicide in older men: the health in men cohort study (HIMS). Preventive Medicine, 93. pp. 33-38.

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Abstract

Suicide rates are high in later life, particularly among older men. Mood disorders are known risk factors, but the risk of suicide associated with poor physical health remains unclear. We completed a cohort study of a community representative sample of 38,170 men aged 65-85 in 1996 who were followed for up to 16 years. Data on suicide attempts and completion were obtained from the Western Australia Data Linkage System, as was information about medical and mental health diagnoses. 240 (0.6%) participants had a recorded history of past suicide attempt, most commonly by poisoning (85%). Sixty-nine men died by suicide during follow up (0.3% of all deaths), most often by hanging (50.7%). Age-adjusted competing risk regression showed that past suicide attempt was not a robust predictor of future suicide completion (sub-hazard ratio, SHR = 1.58, 95% CI = 0.39, 6.42), but bipolar (SHR = 7.82, 95% CI = 3.08, 19.90), depressive disorders (SHR = 2.26, 95% CI = 1.14, 4.51) and the number of health systems affected by disease (SHR for 3-4 health systems = 6.02, 95% CI = 2.69, 13.47; SHR for = 5 health systems= 11.18, 95% CI= 4.89, 25.53) were. The population fraction of suicides attributable to having 5 or more health systems affected by disease was 79% (95% CI = 57%, 90%), and for any mood disorder (bipolar or depression) it was 17% (95% CI= 3%, 28%). Older Australian men with multiple health morbidities have the highest risk of death by suicide, even after taking into account the presence of mood disorders. Improving the overall health of the population may be the most effective way of decreasing the rates of suicide in later life.

Item ID: 47131
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1096-0260
Keywords: suicide, depression, bipolar disorder, alcohol, substance use, aged, men, frailty, cohort study
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC).
Projects and Grants: NHMRC competitive project grant number 279408, NHMRC competitive project grant number 379600, NHMRC competitive project grant number 403963, NHMRC competitive project grant number 513823, NHMRC competitive project grant number 540403, NHMRC competitive project grant number 540504, NHMRC competitive project grant number 540405, NHMRC competitive project grant number 634492, NHMRC competitive project grant number 1021416, NHMRC competitive project grant number 1045710, NHMRC competitive project grant number 1060557
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2016 07:33
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1102 Cardiovascular Medicine and Haematology > 110201 Cardiology (incl Cardiovascular Diseases) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920103 Cardiovascular System and Diseases @ 100%
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