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Occup Med (Lond). 2008 Jan;58(1):25-9. Epub 2007 Oct 27.

The suicide mortality of working physicians and dentists.

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  • 1Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA.



Some studies have shown that physicians and dentists have elevated risks of suicide, while other studies have not.


Using all deaths and corresponding census data in 26 US states, we examine the suicide risk for working physicians and dentists.


Death and census data for working people were obtained from 1984 through 1992. Directly age-standardized suicide rate ratios (SRRs) were calculated for white male and white female physicians and white male dentists.


For white female physicians, the suicide rate was elevated compared to the working US population (SRR = 2.39, 95% CI = 1.52-3.77). For white male physicians and dentists, the overall suicide rates were reduced (SRR = 0.80, 95% CI = 0.53-1.20 and 0.68, 95% CI = 0.52-0.89, respectively). For older white male physicians and dentists, however, observed suicide rates were elevated.


White female physicians have an elevated suicide rate. Only older white male physicians and dentists have elevated suicide rates, which partially explains the varied conclusions in the literature.

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