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Older Women Immigrants with Untreated Depression are at Higher Risk of Suicide, Study Suggests

Feb, 2021 - By WMR

Older Women Immigrants with Untreated Depression are at Higher Risk of Suicide, Study Suggests

According to a new study initiated by the researchers of University of Gothenburg have suggested that older women without Nordic region origin and untreated depression are at higher risk of suicide, in comparison to women born in Sweden. Researchers also suggested that the result findings indicate the requirement for innovative public health measures, in order to meet the necessities among older foreign-born women. In addition, researchers also mentioned that there is increasing rate of suicide among the populace of 75+ age group, however there is no clear information available about this. Moreover, as medicine for depression is considered important for suicide prevention, in this study researchers initiated a national population study to explore the factors related to increased suicide risk among geriatric populace, with and without antidepressant therapy.

In the study, researchers merged large national population registers to gain a group of over 1.4 million inhabitants of Sweden of age 75 and over, and were monitored for around eight years. Researchers observed that within this period, 1,305 people died by suicide, which included 398 women and 907 men. Moreover, researchers also observed that out of 392 female suicides, 164 had depression and were untreated and 42 were born out of the Nordic region. This indicates that immigrant women with untreated depression were most vulnerable.

Researchers also observed that suicide risk was also high among women who took antidepressants, and with high-status employment before retirement and in men, with untreated depression and manual jobs. Researchers also mentioned that higher suicide rates were also observed among unmarried men both with and without antidepressant therapy.

Margda Waern stated, “Our results highlight the need for outreach services in healthcare, especially for older women born outside the Nordic region, and also for older men, who may also need measures to reduce their social isolation. The study indicates gender differences in factors related to suicide among people aged 75 and over, and these results may be helpful for personalized, gender-specific strategies for suicide prevention in psychiatric care, primary care and the social services”.

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