Suicidal behaviour in older age: A systematic review of risk factors associated to suicide attempts and completed suicides

Antonio Daniele, Elena Butera, Anthony Salvatore Mollica, Daniela Piscitelli, Giandomenico Logroscino, Alberto Bellomo, Massimiliano Beghi, Elisa Butera, Cesare Giuseppe Cerri, Cesare Maria Cornaggia, Francesca Febbo, Anita Mollica, Giuseppe Berardino, Daniele Piscitelli, Emanuela Resta, Giancarlo Logroscino, Mario Altamura, Antonello Bellomo, Francesco Panza, Madia Lozupone

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


In older age, several observational studies investigated risk factors for suicide attempts/completed suicides; however, contrasting evidence came from population-based setting. In the present systematic review, we described through a narrative synthesis the significant associations existing among risk factors and suicide attempts/completed suicides in subjects aged >65 years. From the 39 population-based studies selected in six different databases until February 15, 2021, we analyzed the most frequent 28 risk factors for suicidal behaviour. The risk factors more associated to suicide attempts than other variables frequently related to suicidal behavior in older age were: depressive disorders, methods employed to self-harm (particularly poisoning), and psychotropic drug utilization followed by psychological factors and disability. Moreover, male sex, violent methods to self-harm, any psychiatric disorder (depression, anxiety and bipolar disorders), a poor medical condition, stressors/bereavement, and living alone appeared to be more significant for predicting completed suicides in late life. In older age, efforts for suicide prevention should be based on strategies to assess and treat psychiatric disorders along with psychological interventions, particularly in males.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)193-211
Numero di pagine19
RivistaNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • Completed suicide
  • Suicide, Completed
  • Methods to self-harm
  • Older age suicide
  • Psychological factors
  • Psychotropic drugs
  • Stressful events
  • Suicide attempt
  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Suicide, Attempted
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Late-life depression


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