Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antidepressants Account For Only 10% Of Fall In Suicide Rates Among Older People

Date:
April 17, 2008
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
The use of antidepressants is likely to account for only 10 percent of the fall in suicide rates among middle aged and older people, suggests a large study.

The use of antidepressants is likely to account for only 10 per cent of the fall in suicide rates among middle aged and older people, suggests a large study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Globally, more than 800, 000 people commit suicide every year. Rates have been falling in many countries, a factor that has been associated with better recognition of depression and the increasing use of antidepressants, particularly the newer selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

But research involving more than 2 million Danes aged 50 and above and living in Denmark between 1996 and 2000, throws this into question.

The researchers assessed changes in the numbers of middle aged and older people committing suicide during this period and the types of antidepressant drugs they had been prescribed.

Only one in five of those committing suicide was actually taking antidepressants at the time of death.

Suicide rates in older men fell by almost 10 per 100, 000 of the population during this timeframe, but among recipients of antidepressants, the fall was less than one. For older women, only 0.4 of the 3.3 fall per 100, 000 of the population was accounted for by those being treated with antidepressants.

Overall, treatment type made little difference, although rates among men taking SSRIs were slightly higher than among those taking tricyclics.

Suicide rates were five to six times higher among those taking antidepressants than those who were not.

Previous Scandinavian and US research has suggested that a fivefold increase in the use of antidepressants could lead to a 25% decrease in suicide rates, with SSRIs having saved as many as upwards of 33, 000 lives, say the authors.

Sales of antidepressants in Denmark have soared from 8.4 per 1000 of the population in 1990 to 52.2 in 2000.

And suicide rates among older people have more than halved from 52.2 in 1980 to 22.1 per 100, 000 of the population in 2000.

The authors conclude that current antidepressant treatment accounts for only a fraction of the falls in suicide rates among older people.

But they nevertheless suggest that more should be done to pick up and treat depression among older people.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Antidepressants Account For Only 10% Of Fall In Suicide Rates Among Older People." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080414193027.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2008, April 17). Antidepressants Account For Only 10% Of Fall In Suicide Rates Among Older People. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080414193027.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Antidepressants Account For Only 10% Of Fall In Suicide Rates Among Older People." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080414193027.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) It’s an unusual condition with a colorful name. Kids with “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome see sudden distortions in objects they’re looking at or their own bodies appear to change size, a lot like the main character in the Lewis Carroll story. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Scientists have long called choline a “brain booster” essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain cancer in humans. Now a new treatment using the patient’s own tumor could help slow down its progression and help patients live longer. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins