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Soc Sci Med. 1994 Feb;38(3):419-26.

Suicidal behaviour on railways in the FRG.

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  • Department of Psychiatry, University of Wuerzburg, Germany.


Between 1976-84 there were 6090 suicides and 391 attempted suicides on railways in the Federal Republic of Germany. This suicide method was compared to other methods with respect to seasonal and daily distributions and fluctuations by time of day for age and sex. The ratio of males to females was 2.54:1 and the relative incidence of this type of suicide as compared to the total number of suicides was high among the younger age groups. Investigation of seasonal variation revealed a peak for males in the autumn. There was a markedly higher incidence of railway suicides committed by males on Mondays and Tuesdays. This peak was less pronounced for females. Most incidents occurred in the evening hours (especially after sunset). An investigation of the relationship between the severity of injuries and the location of the suicide attempt revealed that those who attempted suicide on railway tracks in the countryside were more seriously injured than those whose attempt took place in or near main stations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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