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Suicidal Ideation Common Among Older Koreans

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry; ePub 2016 Oct 25; Na, et al

Suicidal ideation without depressive syndromes was common among Korean American older adults, according to a recent study. Researchers conducted the Memory and Aging Study of Koreans, a cross-sectional, epidemiologic study of a community-representative sample of Korean American older adults (n=1,116) residing in the Baltimore–Washington area. Participants were interviewed using the Korean version of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9K). Demographic information, self-rated mental health, and self-rated physical health status were also obtained. They found:

  • 14.7% of Korean American older adults reported suicidal ideation.
  • Predictors of suicidal ideation included living alone, major or minor depressive syndrome (diagnosed by the PHQ-9K), shorter duration of residency in the US, and poorer self-rated mental health status.
  • Of those who reported suicidal ideation, 64% did not have minor or major depressive syndrome; however, their self-rated mental health was as poor as that of those with major or minor depressive syndrome but without suicidal ideation.


Na PJ, Kim KB, Lee-Tauler SY, Han H-R, Kim MT, Lee HB. Predictors of suicidal ideation in Korean American older adults: Analysis of the Memory and Aging Study of Koreans (MASK). [Published online ahead of print October 25, 2016]. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. doi:10.1002/gps.4608.