Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Low socioeconomic status and suicidal ideation among elderly individuals

  • Yeong Jun Ju (a1) (a2), Eun-Cheol Park (a1) (a3), Kyu-Tae Han (a1) (a2), Jae Woo Choi (a1) (a2), Jeong Lim Kim (a1) (a2), Kyoung Hee Cho (a1) (a2) and Sohee Park (a1) (a4)...

Abstract

Background:

Suicide rates are high among elderly individuals experiencing socioeconomic insecurity. Socioeconomic security is of critical importance for elderly individuals and directly affects mental health, including suicidal behavior. Thus, we investigated the relationship between socioeconomic status and suicidal ideation in elderly individuals.

Method:

We conducted a cross-sectional study using data on 58,590 individuals 65 years of age or older from the Korean Community Health Survey 2013. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify relationships between socioeconomic factors (food insecurity, household income, and living arrangement) and suicidal ideation in the elderly population.

Results:

The study included 58,590 participants (24,246 males and 34,344 females). Of those, 2,847 males and 6,418 females experienced suicidal ideation. Participants with food insecure were more likely to experience suicidal ideation than were those who were food secure (males: OR = 1.60; 95% CI, 1.34–1.90; females: OR = 1.54; 95% CI, 1.38–1.72). We found a similar pattern among participants with a low household income and those living alone. Additionally, male and female subjects who were food insecure and living alone or food insecure and had a low household income showed a marked increase in suicidal ideation.

Conclusion:

Our findings suggest that low socioeconomic status is associated with an increased risk of suicidal ideation among the elderly. Furthermore, intervention programs that address the prevalence of elderly suicide, particularly among those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged, are needed.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Sohee Park, PhD, Department of Biostatics, Graduate School of Public Health, Yonsei University 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-752, South Korea. Phone: +82-2-2228-1532; Fax: +82-2-392-7734. Email: soheepark@yuhs.ac.

References

Hide All
Alaimo, K., Briefel, R. R., Frongillo, E. A. Jr. and Olson, C. M. (1998). Food insufficiency exists in the United States: results from the third national health and nutrition examination survey (NHANES III). American Journal of Public Health, 88, 419426. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2105/ajph.88.3.419.
Almeida, O. P. et al. (2012). Factors associated with suicidal thoughts in a large community study of older adults. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 201, 466472. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1192/bjp.bp.112.110130.
Chin, Y. R., Lee, H. Y. and So, E. S. (2011). Suicidal ideation and associated factors by sex in Korean adults: a population-based cross-sectional survey. International journal of public health, 56, 429439. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00038-011-0245-9.
Chiu, H. et al. (2004). Elderly suicide in Hong Kong–a case‐controlled psychological autopsy study. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 109, 299305. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1600-0447.2003.00263.x.
Christensen, K., Doblhammer, G., Rau, R. and Vaupel, J. W. (2009). Ageing populations: the challenges ahead. The Lancet, 374, 11961208. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(09)61460-4.
Chun, I., Ryu, S.-Y., Park, J., Ro, H.-K. and Han, M.-A. (2015). Associations between food insecurity and healthy behaviors among Korean adults. Nutrition research and practice, 9, 425432. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4162/nrp.2015.9.4.425.
Conwell, Y., Duberstein, P. R. and Caine, E. D. (2002). Risk factors for suicide in later life. Biological Psychiatry, 52, 193204. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0006-3223(02)01347-1.
Desseilles, M. et al. (2012). Is it valid to measure suicidal ideation by depression rating scales? Journal of Affective Disorders, 136, 398404. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2011.11.013.
Draper, H. and Fenton, S.-J. (2014). General patterns of health inequality are repeated in the elderly population. Available at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/Documents/research/policycommission/healthy-ageing/3-General-patterns-of-health-inequality-are-repeated-in-the-elderly-population.pdf
Green, K. L., Brown, G. K., Jager-Hyman, S., Cha, J., Steer, R. A. and Beck, A. T. (2015). The predictive validity of the beck depression inventory suicide item. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 76, 4781686. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4088/jcp.14m09391.
He, Z. X. and Lester, D. (2001). Elderly suicide in China. Psychological Reports, 89, 675676. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2466/pr0.89.7.675-676.
Huisman, M., Read, S., Towriss, C. A., Deeg, D. J. and Grundy, E. (2013). Socioeconomic inequalities in mortality rates in old age in the world health organization Europe region. Epidemiologic Reviews, mxs010. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/epirev/mxs010.
Jeon, G.-S., Jang, S.-N., Rhee, S.-J., Kawachi, I. and Cho, S.-I. (2007). Gender differences in correlates of mental health among elderly Koreans. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 62, S323–S329. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geronb/62.5.s323.
Johnson, C. M., Sharkey, J. R. and Dean, W. R. (2011). Indicators of material hardship and depressive symptoms among homebound older adults living in North Carolina. Journal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics, 30, 154168. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21551197.2011.566527.
Jones, R. S. and Urasawa, S. (2014). Reducing income inequality and poverty and promoting social mobility in Korea. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eco_surveys-kor-2014-6-en.
Juurlink, D. N., Herrmann, N., Szalai, J. P., Kopp, A. and Redelmeier, D. A. (2004). Medical illness and the risk of suicide in the elderly. Archives of Internal Medicine, 164, 11791184. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archinte.164.11.1179.
Kang, Y. W. et al. (2015). Korea community health survey data profiles. Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives, 6, 211217. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2015.05.003.
Kessler, R. C., Borges, G. and Walters, E. E. (1999). Prevalence of and risk factors for lifetime suicide attempts in the national comorbidity survey. Archives of General Psychiatry, 56, 617626. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.56.7.617.
Kessler, R. C. and Üstün, T. B. (2004). The world mental health (WMH) survey initiative version of the world health organization (WHO) composite international diagnostic interview (CIDI). International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, 13, 93121. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mpr.168.
Kim, S. J. et al. (2015). Test-retest reliability of health behavior items in the community health survey in South Korea. Epidemiology and Health, 37, e2015045. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4178/epih/e2015045.
Möller-Leimkühler, A. M. (2003). The gender gap in suicide and premature death or: why are men so vulnerable? European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 253, 18. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00406-003-0397-6.
Moon, S.-S. and Park, S.-M. (2012). Risk factors for suicidal ideation in Korean middle-aged adults: the role of socio-demographic status. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 0020764011433626. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0020764011433626.
OECD (2013). Health at a Glance 2013: Health Indicators. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/health_glance-2013-en.
OECD (2014). OECD Economic Surveys: Korea 2014: OECD Publishing. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eco_surveys-kor-2014-en.
Shah, A., Bhat, R., MacKenzie, S. and Koen, C. (2008). A cross-national study of the relationship between elderly suicide rates and life expectancy and markers of socioeconomic status and health care. International Psychogeriatrics, 20, 347360. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s1041610207005352.
Statistics Korea. (2014). Statistics of aging population. Statistics Korea.
Turvey, C. L. et al. (2002). Risk factors for late-life suicide: a prospective, community-based study. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 10, 398406. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajgp.10.4.398.
Vasiliadis, H.-M., Gagné, S. and Préville, M. (2012). Gender differences in determinants of suicidal ideation in French-speaking community living elderly in Canada. International Psychogeriatrics, 24, 20192026. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s1041610212001251.
Weaver, L. J. and Hadley, C. (2009). Moving beyond hunger and nutrition: a systematic review of the evidence linking food insecurity and mental health in developing countries. Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 48, 263284. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03670240903001167.
Yen, Y. C. et al. (2005). Suicidal ideation and associated factors among community‐dwelling elders in Taiwan. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 59, 365371. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1819.2005.01387.x.

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed