Prevalence and association of suicide ideation among taiwanese elderly-a population-based cross-sectional study

Hsiang Lin Chan, Chia Yih Liu, Yeuk Lun Chau, Chia Ming Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

50 Scopus citations


Background: Elders commit suicide almost twice as frequently as people in the general population. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence and associated factors of suicide ideation among a representative sample of elderly people in Taiwan. Methods: We used data from the Health Promotion Knowledge, Attitudes, and Performance Survey in Taiwan and focused on 3,853 subjects with over 65 years old. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression were used to compare subjects with and without suicide ideation in terms of their subject characteristics, smoking, disability, depressive symptoms, physical disorders, and pain symptoms. Results: The point prevalence of elderly suicidal ideation was 6.1%. Female gender, age over 85 years, low level of of education, single status, unemployment. no income, disability, current smoking, self-perceived bad to very bad health, depressive symptoms, various physical disorders (heart disease, diabetes, asthma, osteoporosis), and pain symptoms (joint pain, lower back pain, neck pain, sciatica, headache) were strongly associated with suicide ideation. Multivariate analyses showed that the female gender, former smoker, no income, depressive symptoms, and heart disease were the predictors of elderly suicide ideation. Conclusion: Elderly subjects who are women, or former smokers, and have depressive symptoms, heart disease or no income should be cautioned about the risk of suicide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-204
Number of pages8
JournalChang Gung Medical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 03 2011


  • Depression
  • Elderly
  • Physical disorder
  • Suicide ideation


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