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Firearms Suicide Among Older Americans

  1. Suicide Among Older Persons´┐ŻUnited States, 1980-1992, MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report), Vol. 45, No. 1, January 12, 1996, pp. 3-6.

    Key Statistics: In 1992 persons aged 65 and older were only 13 percent of the population yet accounted for almost one fifth of all suicides. Between 1980 and 1992, firearm-related suicides increased from 60 to 69 percent of all suicides in persons aged 65 and older, and the firearm-related suicide rate increased by 24 percent, from 10.6 to 13.1 per 100,000 in this same age group. Among men aged 65 and older, the percentage of suicides completed with a firearm increased from 69 to 77 percent between 1980 and 1992; among women aged 65 and older, the percentage increased from 24 to 35 percent during this same time period.

    This study reports suicide trends among older Americans between 1980 and 1992.

  2. The Growing Use of Firearms by Suicidal Older Women, 1979-1992: A Research Note, Margaret E. Adamek, PhD, and Mark S. Kaplan, DrPH, Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, Vol. 26, No. 1, Spring 1996, pp. 71-78.

    Key Statistics: Between 1979 and 1992 firearms replaced poisoning as the most prevalent method of suicide by women 65 years and older. In 1992 firearms accounted for 38 percent of all suicides among women 65 and older compared to 28 percent in 1979. Firearms have been the most popular method of suicide among older women since 1982.

    This study examines national data on deaths from the National Center for Health Statistics for the years 1979 to 1992. The study concludes that the availability, familiarity, and cultural acceptability of firearms may play a role in the choice of suicide method of older women.

Where did you get that?

   Five Publications Every
   Advocate Needs

   Firearms Violence - General
   Firearms Homicide
   Firearms Homicide and
   Domestic Violence
   Firearms Homicide in
   the Workplace
   Firearms Suicide

   Suicide Among Older

   Unintentional Firearm-Related
   Nonfatal Firearm-Related Injuries
   Costs of Firearms Violence
   Firearms and Crime
   Firearms Ownership,
   Concealed Carrying, and
   Self-Defense Use
   Firearms Industry - General
   Licensed Dealers

   Marketing Firearms to
   Women and Youth

   Appendix One: Groups
   and Organizations

   Appendix Two: Understanding
   and Using Statistics

All contents ´┐Ż 1998 Violence Policy Center