Suicide Mortality Among Patients Treated by the Veterans Health Administration From 2000 to 2007

Department of Veterans Affairs, Serious Mental Illness Treatment Resource and Evaluation Center (SMITREC) and Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 4.55). 03/2012; 102 Suppl 1(S1):S98-104. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300441
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

We sought to examine rates of suicide among individuals receiving health care services in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities over an 8-year period.
We included annual cohorts of all individuals who received VHA health care services from fiscal year (FY) 2000 through FY 2007 (October 1, 1999-September 30, 2007; N = 8,855,655). Vital status and cause of death were obtained from the National Death Index.
Suicide was more common among VHA patients than members of the general US population. The overall rates of suicide among VHA patients decreased slightly but significantly from 2000 to 2007 (P < .001). Male veterans between the ages of 30 and 64 years were at the highest risk of suicide.
VHA health care system patients are at elevated risk for suicide and are appropriate for suicide reduction services, although the rate of suicide has decreased in recent years for this group. Comprehensive approaches to suicide prevention in the VHA focus not only on recent returnees from Iraq and Afghanistan but also on middle-aged and older Veterans.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Kerry L Knox, Jul 31, 2014
  • Source
    • "Various projects have been funded to address surveillance of veteran populations, such as those who served in recent wars. Suicide is an area of special concern in the U.S. military and veteran populations, both of whom have a rate of suicide that exceeds that of the general population [7]. Mitigating this elevated risk is a key agency priority. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To fulfill the promise of electronic health records to support the study of disease in populations, efficient techniques are required to search large clinical corpora. The authors describe a hybrid system that combines a search engine and a natural language feature extraction and classification system to estimate the annual incidence of suicide attempts and demonstrate an association of adverse childhood experiences with suicide attempt risk in a cohort of 250,000 patients. The methodology replicated a previous finding that a positive association between suicide attempt incidence and a history of childhood abuse, neglect or family dysfunction exists, and that the association is stronger when multiple adverse events are reported.
    Full-text · Conference Paper · Jan 2014
  • Source
    • "In the U.S., these strategies include a national network of suicide prevention crisis lines, including the VA national crisis line (veteranscrisisline.net), the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org), and comparable resources for U.S. military personnel. A congressionally mandated comprehensive VA suicide prevention program began in 2007 [123]. National strategies for suicide prevention are periodically updated as new scientific information becomes available. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Suicidal ideation and behavior have been associated with a variety of neurological illnesses. Studies are ongoing in combat veterans and other groups to examine possible mechanisms and pathways that account for such associations. This article provides a review of the literature on suicide ideation and suicidal behavior in patients with neurological illnesses including publications on veteran's health and military medicine. Studies of suicide attempts and deaths in people with neurological illnesses are also reviewed. The studies summarized in this review indicate that there are important linkages between suicidal ideation and behavior and neurological conditions, including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Additional studies are needed to further clarify why suicide ideation and suicidal behavior are associated with neurological diseases, in order to improve quality of life, alleviate patient distress, and prevent nonfatal and fatal suicide attempts in veteran and non-veteran populations.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to examine risk assessment practices for suicide and unintentional overdose to inform ongoing care in substance use disorder clinics. Focus groups were conducted via telephone among a random sample of treatment providers (N = 19) from Veterans Health Administration substance use disorder clinics across the nation. Themes were coded by research staff. Treatment providers reported consistent and clear guidelines for risk assessment of suicide among patients. Unintentional overdose questions elicited dissimilar responses which indicated a lack of cohesion and uniformity in risk assessment practices across clinics. Suicide risk assessment protocols are cohesively implemented by treatment providers. Unintentional overdose risk, however, may be less consistently assessed in clinics.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Archives of suicide research: official journal of the International Academy for Suicide Research
Show more