Do Sociodemographic and Gender Determinants of Late-life Suicide Differ in Older Swedish Users and Non-users of Antidepressants? A National Population-based Study


Background: The treatment of depression is a main strategy for suicide prevention in older adults. Our aim was to examine factors related to suicide in older adults (75+) with and without antidepressant therapy. Methods: We used register data for all Swedish residents aged ≥ 75 years (N=1 413 806) between 2006-2014. We identified all persons who died by suicide (N=1305; 907 men and 398 women) and matched 50 controls to each case. A nested case-control design was used to investigate the sociodemographic factors associated with suicide among users and non-users of antidepressants. Risk factors were analysed in a conditional logistic regression model in the entire cohort and in men and women separately. Results: Being born outside of Nordic countries was associated with increased suicide risk; a threefold increase in risk was observed for women not treated with antidepressants. Being married was a protective factor in men but not in women. Blue-collar occupations before retirement were associated with increased suicide risk in non-users of antidepressants, particularly in men. Upper white-collar occupations were associated with increased suicide risk in women who used antidepressants. Conclusions: Our differential findings on factors associated with suicide men and women treated or not by antidepressants suggest the need for multifaceted gender-specific approaches targeting psychosocial factors for the prevention of suicide in late-life that go beyond the healthcare sphere.

Author Information
Khedidja Hedna, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Gunnel Hensing, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Ingmar Skoog, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Johan Fastbom, Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University, Sweden
Margda Waern, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Paper Information
Conference: AGen2020
Stream: Aging and Gerontology

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