Prevalence of mental disorders among elderly men: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Sao Paulo Med. J.




ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Elderly men have been characterized as a group vulnerable to suicide, motivated by loneliness, loss of loved ones and feelings of uselessness to family members. OBJECTIVES: To ascertain the prevalence of different mental disorders among elderly men who attempted suicide. DESIGN AND SETTING: Systematic review of observational studies developed as a result of a partnership between two postgraduate schools (Lagarto and Uberlândia). METHODS: An electronic search was performed in eight electronic databases, including “grey literature”, in January 2019. Observational studies that assessed mental disorders among men older than 60 years who attempted suicide were eligible for inclusion. RESULTS: Among the disorders evaluated, mood disorders had the highest prevalence (42.0%; 95% confidence interval, CI: 31.0-74.0%; I2: 0.0%; P = 0.763), followed by substance use-related disorders (41.0%; 95% CI: 8.0-74.0%; I2: 96.4; P < 0.001) and, lastly, schizophrenic disorders (5.0%; 95% CI: 0.0%-14.0%; I2: 80.3%; P = 0.024). CONCLUSIONS: It seems that mood disorders and substance use-related disorders are quite prevalent among elderly men with mental disorders who attempted suicide. It is important to consider the role of healthcare services in making early diagnoses of mental disorders among elderly men, in order to diminish the chances of suicide attempts among them. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: CRD42018105981.

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