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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

Print version ISSN 0034-7450


RAMIREZ ARANGO, Yuri Catherine et al. Factors Associated With Suicidal Ideation in Older Adults From Three Cities in Colombia, 2016. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2020, vol.49, n.3, pp.142-153.  Epub Jan 15, 2021. ISSN 0034-7450.


Suicidal ideation refers to thoughts that range from a vague idea of committing suicide to a specific suicide plan.


To explore factors such as demographic, social, family, abuse, risk of depression, habits and health conditions, which influence suicidal ideation in the elderly people in the cities of Medellín, Barranquilla, and Pasto (Colombia), with the intention to identify those associated factors that can be used in public health programs focused on this population.


Cross-sectional analytical study was conducted using a secondary source, demographic, social, clinical variables, social support, discrimination, abuse, happiness, depression, functional capacity, and as a dependent variable were asked the question: "Have you ever thought about committing suicide?" A descriptive, bivariate and multivariate analysis was performed.


The median age was ≤ 69 [interquartile range, 11] years, and 58.2% were women. The prevalence of suicidal ideation was 6.4%, and of these, 28.7% had made plans to end their lives, and 66.7% had tried at least once. A statistical association was found with informal employment, cigarette consumption, alcohol and psychoactive substances, risk of depression, having a disability, dissatisfaction with their quality of life, with their health, with their economic situation, as well as feeling unhappy, bad treatment and bad relationships among family members, poor social support, sexual and economic abuse, and finally, discrimination.


Suicidal ideation in older adults in three cities of Colombia is explained by the sexual and economic abuse that this population is suffering, as well as bad personal relationships between the members of the family of the older adult. The risk of depression increases the probability of having thoughts against one's life.

Keywords : Suicidal ideation; Aged; Precipitating factors; Frail elderly.

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