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Article   |    
Chronic Dyspnea and Suicide in Elderly Men
Sara L. Horton-Deutsch; David C. Clark; Carol J. Farran
Psychiatric Services 1992; doi:
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The study was supported by a grant to Dr. Clark from the Andrus Foundation of the American Association of Retired Persons.

Rush University Graduate College of Nursing; Center for Suicide Research and Prevention at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, 1725 West Harrison Street, Suite 955, Chicago Illinois 60612

1992 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

In a structured psychological autopsy study of suicide in older adults, 14 cases in which the subjects experienced chronic dyspnea in the months or weeks before death were examined. Thirteen of the subjects were white men. Most had a diagnosable psychiatric disorder, although none bad previous contact with a mental health professional. Other common characteristics were chronic or terminal heart or lung disease, very recent contact with a primary physician, prior experience of self or a significant other suffering a debilitating disease, and a fiercely independent and inflexible personality type. The cases illustrate the intricacy of risk factors associated with suicide and alert other investigators and health care professionals to a possible link between chronic dyspnea and suicide risk.

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dyspnea ; suicide ; elderly
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