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Firearm Suicides Among Older Men

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Publication Date: January 1996

Publisher(s): Psychiatric Services

Author(s): M.S. Kaplan; M.E. Adamek


Special Collection: The Joyce Foundation


Keywords: suicide; firearms; elderly

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


This study analyses data from the years 1979 to 1991 to determine epidemiologic trends in the rates of suicide by firearms among three age groups of white and black men age 65 and older.
In 1991, firearms in this group accounted for 80 percent of all suicides. Firearm suicide rates increased significantly over time among white men in all three age groups, especially those 75 and older, and among black men between the ages of 75 and 84.

It recommends that clinicians should regularly conduct a firearm-availability history with elderly men who are depressed or suicidal.