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Physical multimorbidity, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts among adults aged ≥50 years from low- and middle-income countries
journal contributionposted on 2023-09-01, 15:12 authored by Lee Smith, Jae Il Shin, Guillermo Lopez-Sanchez, Karel Kostev, Louis Jacob, Mark Tully, Laurie T. Butler, Yvonne Barnett, Nicola Veronese, Pinar Soysal, Adel Abduljabbar, Josep Maria Haro, Ai Koyanagi
Objectives The association between physical multimorbidity and suicidal ideation or suicide attempts among older adults from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is largely unknown. We aimed to assess this association as well as its mediators using nationally representative data from six LMICs. Methods Cross-sectional, community-based data from the Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health were analyzed. A total of 11 chronic physical conditions were assessed. Self-reported information on past 12-month suicidal ideation and suicide attempts was also collected. Multivariable logistic regression and mediation analyses were conducted. Results The final sample consisted of 34129 adults aged ≥50 years [mean (SD) age 62.4 (16.0) years; maximum age 114 years; 52.1% females]. In the overall sample, physical multimorbidity was associated with increased odds for suicidal ideation (OR=2.99; 95%CI=2.06-4.34) and suicide attempts (OR=2.79; 95%CI=1.58-4.95), with the association being stronger in males than females. The association between multimorbidity and suicidal ideation or suicide attempts was largely mediated by pain/discomfort (mediated% 33.3%-44.2%), sleep/energy (28.2%-33.8%), and mobility limitations (26.6%-34.8%). Conclusions Physical multimorbidity among older adults in LMICs was associated with a substantially increased risk for suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Addressing the identified mediators in people with physical multimorbidity may aid in the prevention of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts.
Publication titleInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
- Accepted version