Association of food insecurity with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in adults aged ≥50 years from low- and middle-income countries.

Smith L., Shin J. I., Carmichael C., Jacob L., Kostev K., Grabovac I., ...More

Journal of affective disorders, vol.309, pp.446-452, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 309
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jad.2022.04.109
  • Journal Name: Journal of affective disorders
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ASSIA, PASCAL, AgeLine, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Psycinfo, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.446-452
  • Keywords: Food insecurity, Suicide attempts, Suicidal ideation, Low-and middle-income countries, Older adults, WORLD-HEALTH-ORGANIZATION, OLDER-ADULTS, PREVALENCE, ALCOHOL, MEALS
  • Bezmialem Vakıf University Affiliated: Yes


Background: The aim of the present study was to investigate associations between food insecurity with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in adults aged > 50 years from six low-and middle-income countries (LMICs).& nbsp;Methods: Cross-sectional, community-based data from the World Health Organisation's Study on Global Aging and Adult Health were analyzed. Self-reported information on past 12-month suicidal ideation and suicide attempts was collected. Past 12-month food insecurity was assessed with two questions on frequency of eating less and hunger due to lack of food. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was conducted to assess the association between food insecurity and suicidal ideation or suicide attempts.& nbsp;Results: The final analytical sample included 34,129 individuals aged >= 50 years [mean (SD) age 62.4 (16.0) years; 52.1% females]. Compared to no food insecurity, severe food insecurity was associated with a significant 2.78 (95%CI = 1.73-4.45) times higher odds for suicidal ideation, while moderate and severe food insecurity were associated with 2.59 (95%CI = 1.35-4.97) and 5.15 (95%CI = 2.52-10.53) times higher odds for suicide attempts, respectively. Limitations: The cross-sectional design, the use of self-reported wish to die as a measure of suicide ideation, and that suicidal ideation and suicide attempts were only assessed among those who had depressive symptoms, could be considered limitations of our study.& nbsp;Conclusions: Food insecurity was positively associated with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Targeting food insecurity among older adults in LMICs may lead to reduction in suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, although future longitudinal studies are warranted to confirm this.