Background: In the elderly, chronic disease and suicide are emerging as serious issues. The purpose of this study was to examine the factors affecting suicidal ideation in elderly people.
Methods and materials: This study used raw data from the 2017 Korea Community Health Survey. Of the 228,452 participants in the survey, 64,641 (95.29%) were selected for the study. Those with missing values, no response and outlier values in the initial sample of 67,835 elderly people aged 65 years and above were excluded. The dependent variable was suicidal ideation and the independent variables were related to socio-demographic profiles and chronic disease history. Statistical analyses were performed using logistic regression analysis for factors affecting suicidal ideation.
Results: The odds ratio (OR) for suicidal ideation in elderly people was higher in people with a college education than in those with elementary school education or who were illiterate. The OR was higher in people with monthly family incomes of 500,000-1,000,000 won and ≤ 500,000 won, compared to those with monthly incomes of ³ 6,000,000 won. Compared to married elderly people who lived with a spouse, the ORs of divorced and separated people were significantly higher. The ORs of elderly people with diabetes, dyslipidemia, arthritis or cataracts were significantly higher than those of elderly people without chronic diseases. The OR of elderly people with depression was significantly higher than that of elderly people without a history of depression. The primary reason for suicidal ideation was ‘disease or disorder’, and the second was ‘loneliness’.
Conclusions: The findings suggest that socio-demographic factors and chronic disease history may be considered risk factors for suicidal ideation. [Ethiop.J. Health Dev. 2020;34(Special issue-3):91-96]
Keywords: Suicide, suicidal ideation, aging, elderly, chronic disease