On behalf of Dr. William T. Gormley, Acting Chief Medical Examiner for the Commonwealth of Virginia, we are pleased to present a new report from the Virginia Violent Death Reporting System called Elder Suicide in Virginia: 2003-2010. This report, which is an update to a previous report, examines suicide among Virginia residents 60 years of age and older. Highlights include:
- From 2003-2010 there were 1,595 elder suicide decedents in Virginia.
- Elder males have a higher risk of suicide than non-elder males.
- Elder suicide risk is highest in the southwest area and lowest in the northern area.
- While most elders use a firearm in the fatal suicide, those that used poisons commonly used their own prescription medications.
- Mental health problems and physical health problems were the two most common factors in elder suicide.
(Marc Leslie, VVDRS Coordinator)