This study addresses whether late-onset suicide attempters are at an elevated risk
for dementia relative to early-onset attempters.
The results revealed that both early-onset and late-onset attempters exhibit executive
dysfunction but late-onset attempters additionally exhibit a broader range of cognitive
Late-onset suicide attempts may be associated with a dementia prodrome in a subgroup
of suicide attempters in late-life.
This study examined whether late-onset (vs. early-onset) suicidal behavior is associated
with worse cognition.
Participants included 278 adults aged 50+ years (56 non-psychiatric comparison group;
67 non-suicidal depressed older adults; 63 depressed suicide ideators; and 44 late-onset
(55+ years) and 48 early-onset suicide attempters (<55 years). Using a case-control
design, this study examined group differences in global cognition, episodic memory,
information processing speed, and executive functioning, assessed using the Repeatable
Battery of Neuropsychological Status and the Trail Making Test from the Delis-Kaplan
Executive Function System. Linear regression was used for data analyses.
Both attempter groups displayed worse executive functioning than non-suicidal depressed
older adults. Late-onset attempters additionally displayed poorer global cognition
and processing speed than non-suicidal depressed older adults and poorer memory than
Late-onset suicidal behavior is associated with worse performance in a broad range
of cognitive domains, possibly reflective of a dementia prodrome.
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