Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-54vk6 Total loading time: 0.404 Render date: 2022-08-08T07:05:09.244Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Suicide and deliberate self harm in older Irish adults

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 August 2010

Paul Corcoran*
Affiliation:
National Suicide Research Foundation, Cork, Ireland Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Oviedo, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental (CIBERSAM), Oviedo, Spain
Udo Reulbach
Affiliation:
National Suicide Research Foundation, Cork, Ireland
Ivan J. Perry
Affiliation:
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College, Cork, Ireland
Ella Arensman
Affiliation:
National Suicide Research Foundation, Cork, Ireland
*
Correspondence should be addressed to: Paul Corcoran, National Suicide Research Foundation, 1 Perrott Avenue, College Road, Cork, Ireland. Phone: +353 21 4277499; Fax: +353 21 4277545. Email: paul.nsrf@iol.ie.

Abstract

Background: Hospital-treated deliberate self harm and suicide among older adults have rarely been examined at a national level.

Methods: The Irish Central Statistics Office provided suicide and undetermined death data for 1980–2006. The National Registry of Deliberate Self Harm collected data relating to deliberate self harm presentations made in 2006–2008 to all 40 Irish hospital emergency departments.

Results: Rates of female suicide among older adults (over 55 years) were relatively stable in Ireland during 1980–2006 whereas male rates increased in the 1980s and decreased in more recent decades. Respectively, the annual male and female suicide and undetermined death rate was 22.1 and 7.6 per 100,000 in 1997–2006. Male and female deliberate self harm was 3.0 and 11.0 times higher at 67.4 and 83.4 per 100,000, respectively. Deliberate self harm and suicide decreased in incidence with increasing age. Deliberate self harm generally involved drug overdose (male: 72%; female 85%) or self-cutting (male: 15%; female 9%). The most common methods of suicide were hanging (41%) and drowning (29%) for men and drowning (39%) and drug overdose (24%) for women. City and urban district populations had the highest rates of hospital-treated self harm. The highest suicide rates were in urban districts.

Conclusions: Older Irish adults have high rates of hospital-treated deliberate self harm but below average rates of suicide. Drowning was relatively common as a method of suicide. Restricting availability of specific medications may reduce both forms of suicidal behavior.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2010

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Bennewith, O., Gunnell, D., Peters, T., Hawton, K. and House, A. (2004). Variations in the hospital management of self harm in adults in England: observational study. BMJ, 328, 11081109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bertolote, J. M. and Fleischmann, A. (2002). Suicide and psychiatric diagnosis: a worldwide perspective. World Psychiatry, 1, 181185.Google ScholarPubMed
Biermann, T., Sperling, W., Bleich, S., Kornhuber, J. and Reulbach, U. (2009). Particularities of suicide in the elderly. a population-based study. Aging: Clinical Experimental Research, 21, 470474.Google ScholarPubMed
Cattell, H. and Jolley, D. J. (1995). One hundred cases of suicide in elderly people. British Journal of Psychiatry, 166, 451457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Center for Disease Control (2007). Nonfatal self-inflicted injuries among adults aged ≥65 years: United States, 2005. Morbidity Mortality Weekly Report, 56, 989993.Google Scholar
Chan, J., Draper, B. and Banerjee, S. (2007). Deliberate self-harm in older adults: a review of the literature from 1995 to 2004. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 22, 720732.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Chen, Y. Y., Park, N. S. and Lu, T. H. (2009). Suicide methods used by women in Korea, Sweden, Taiwan and the United States. Journal of the Formosan Medical Association, 108, 452459.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Claassen, C. A., Yip, P. S., Corcoran, P., Bossarte, R. M., Lawrence, B. A. and Currier, G. W. (2010). National suicide rates a century after Durkheim: do we know enough to estimate error? Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 40, 193223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cleary, A. and Brannick, T. (2007). Suicide and changing values and beliefs in Ireland. Crisis, 28, 8288.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Conwell, Y., Duberstein, P. R. and Caine, E. D. (2002). Risk factors for suicide in later life. Biological Psychiatry, 52, 193204.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cooper, J. et al. (2005). Suicide after deliberate self-harm: a 4-year cohort study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 162, 297303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cooper, P. N. and Milroy, C. M. (1995). The coroner's system and under-reporting of suicide. Medicine, Science and Law, 35, 319326.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Corcoran, P., Keeley, H. S., O'Sullivan, M. and Perry, I. J. (2003). Parasuicide and suicide in the south-west of Ireland. Irish Journal of Medical Science, 172, 107111.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Corcoran, P., Arensman, E. and Perry, I. J. (2007). The area-level association between hospital-treated deliberate self-harm, deprivation and social fragmentation in Ireland. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 61, 10501055.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Daigle, M. S. (2005). Suicide prevention through means restriction: assessing the risk of substitution. A critical review and synthesis. Accident; Analysis and Prevention, 37, 625632.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
De Leo, D. et al. (2001). Attempted and completed suicide in older subjects: results from the WHO/EURO Multicentre Study of Suicidal Behaviour. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 16, 300310.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Dennis, M. S., Wakefield, P., Molloy, C., Andrews, H. and Friedman, T. (2007). A study of self-harm in older people: mental disorder, social factors and motives. Aging and Mental Health, 11, 520525.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hawton, K. and Harriss, L. (2006). Deliberate self-harm in people aged 60 years and over: characteristics and outcome of a 20-year cohort. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 21, 572581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hawton, K. and Harriss, L. (2008a). The changing gender ratio in occurrence of deliberate self-harm across the lifecycle. Crisis, 29, 410.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hawton, K. and Harriss, L. (2008b). How often does deliberate self-harm occur relative to each suicide? A study of variations by gender and age. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 38, 650660.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hawton, K. and van Heeringen, K. (2009). Suicide. Lancet, 373, 13721381.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hawton, K., Zahl, D. and Weatherall, R. (2003). Suicide following deliberate self-harm: long-term follow-up of patients who presented to a general hospital. British Journal of Psychiatry, 182, 537542.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hawton, K. et al. (2004). UK legislation on analgesic packs: before and after study of long-term effect on poisonings. BMJ, 329, 1076.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hawton, K. et al. (2009). Effect of withdrawal of co-proxamol on prescribing and deaths from drug poisoning in England and Wales: time series analysis. BMJ, 338, b2270.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Jougla, E., Pequignot, F., Chappert, J., Rossollin, F., Le Toullec, A. and Pavillon, G. (2002). [Quality of suicide mortality data]. Revue d'Epidemiologie et de Santé Publique, 50, 4962.Google Scholar
Kaplan, M. S., Adamek, M. E. and Rhoades, J. A. (1998). Prevention of elderly suicide: physicians’ assessment of firearm availability. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 15, 6064.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kapur, N. (2006). Self-harm in the general hospital. Clinical Medicine, 6, 529532.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kelleher, M. J., Keohane, B., Corcoran, P. and Keeley, H. S. (1997). Elderly suicides in Ireland. Irish Medical Journal, 90, 72, 74.Google ScholarPubMed
Lawrence, D., Almeida, O. P., Hulse, G. K., Jablensky, A. V. and Holman, C. D. (2000). Suicide and attempted suicide among older adults in Western Australia. Psychological Medicine, 30, 813821.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
National Suicide Research Foundation (2007). Inquested Deaths in Ireland: A Study of Routine Data and Recording Practices. Cork: National Suicide Research Foundation.Google Scholar
National Suicide Research Foundation (2009). National Registry of Deliberate Self Harm Ireland Annual Report 2008. Cork: National Suicide Research Foundation.Google Scholar
Ohberg, A. and Lonnqvist, J. (1998). Suicides hidden among undetermined deaths. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 98, 214218.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Platt, S. et al. (1992). Parasuicide in Europe: the WHO/EURO multicentre study on parasuicide. I. Introduction and preliminary analysis for 1989. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 85, 97104.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Reulbach, U. and Bleich, S. (2008). Suicide risk after a suicide attempt. BMJ, 337, a2512.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Shah, A. (2009a). Attempted suicide in the elderly in England: age-associated rates, time trends and methods. International Psychogeriatrics, 21, 889895.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Shah, A. (2009b). Does improvement in the treatment of those who attempt suicide contribute to a reduction in elderly suicide rates in England? International Psychogeriatrics, 21, 768773.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Shah, A., Sinha, T. and Makena, R. (2009). The relationship between elderly suicide rates, population density and room density. International Psychogeriatrics, 21, 11971198.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
StataCorp (1999). Stata Statistical Software: Release 6.0. College Station, TX: Stata Corporation.Google Scholar
Varnik, A. et al. (2008). Suicide methods in Europe: a gender-specific analysis of countries participating in the “European Alliance Against Depression”. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 62, 545551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Waterhouse, J., Muir, C., Correa, P. and Powell, J. (1976). Cancer Incidence in Five Continents. Lyon: IARC.Google Scholar
14
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Suicide and deliberate self harm in older Irish adults
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Suicide and deliberate self harm in older Irish adults
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Suicide and deliberate self harm in older Irish adults
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *