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Ann Epidemiol. 2005 Feb;15(2):167-74.

Gender differences in risk factors for attempted suicide among young adults: findings from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Author information

  • 1Institute for Families in Society, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA. bvw@cdc.gov

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To identify the significant factors associated with attempted suicide among men and women, and determine whether socioeconomic status (SES) and social support indictors, health risk factors, and lifetime history of medical and psychiatric illnesses can explain gender differences in attempted suicide.

METHODS:

We used data from 3357 men and 4004 women aged 17 to 39 years, who completed a mental disorder diagnostic interview as a part of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) were calculated for the association between risk factors and attempted suicide.

RESULTS:

The prevalence of lifetime attempted suicides was 7.58% (SE, 0.66) in women and 3.69% (SE, 0.49) in men. In men, low income and smoking were associated with attempted suicide, while attempted suicide in women was associated with poor self-evaluated health, low educational attainment, and drug use. A history of medical and psychiatric illnesses was associated with attempted suicide in both genders, for cancer/pulmonary disease, OR=2.89 (95% CI, 1.25-6.67) in men and 1.94 (1.09-3.45) in women; for major depressive disorder, OR=9.86 (5.08-19.14) in men and 5.00 (3.19-7.83) in women. The significant gender difference of attempted suicide prevalence remained after being adjusted for risk factors selected.

CONCLUSION:

There were significant gender differences in the risk factors for attempted suicide among young adults, and the gender difference in the prevalence of lifetime attempted suicides could not be explained by differential exposure to risk factors selected.

PMID:
15652723
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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