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Suicide Attempts among the Elderly in East Asia

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JournalInternational Psychogeriatrics
DateAccepted/In press - 16 Feb 2017
DatePublished (current) - 1 May 2017
Issue number5
Number of pages2
Pages (from-to)707-708
Original languageEnglish


Among the one million suicide deaths worldwide each year, as many as 60% occur in Asia. The World Health Organization (WHO) found higher suicide rates among the elderly in rapidly industrialized Asian countries such as China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore, compared to the corresponding rates of recently industrializing Asian countries like Vietnam and Sri Lanka (WHO, 2014). As a case in point, suicide rates in South Korea have been the highest in the world since 2003 and are rising especially among older people (Hong & Knapp, 2014). Suicide attempts and older age are strong predictors of completed suicide (Simon et al., 2013; Szanto et al., 2002) and, as such, are important in guiding our efforts for suicide prevention; however, most epidemiological studies focus on completed suicides across all ages rather than understanding the reasons behind suicide attempts in older populations

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