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Health Place. 2011 Mar;17(2):641-50. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2011.01.003. Epub 2011 Jan 14.

Geography of suicide in Taiwan: spatial patterning and socioeconomic correlates.

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  • 1School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Canynge Hall, 39 Whatley Road, Bristol BS8 2PS, UK. shusen@ms25.hinet.net

Abstract

In industrialised Western nations suicide rates tend to be high in inner city areas and socially fragmented neighbourhoods. Few studies have investigated spatial variations in suicide in non-Western settings. We estimated smoothed standardised mortality ratios (1999-2007) for suicide for each of the 358 Taiwanese districts (median population aged 15+: 27,000) and investigated their associations with area characteristics using Bayesian hierarchical models. The geographic distribution of suicide was similar in men and women; young people showed the greatest spatial variation in rates. Rates were highest in East Taiwan, a mostly mountainous rural area. There was no evidence of above average rates in large cities. Spatial patterns of method-specific suicide rates varied markedly, with solids/liquids poisonings showing the greatest geographic variation and hangings the least. Factors most strongly associated with area suicide rates were median household income, population density and lone-parent households. Spatial patterning of suicide in Taiwan differed from that observed in Western nations. Suicide prevention strategies should take into account unique local patterns.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
21292534
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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