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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1999 Dec;100(6):433-40.

Short stature and poor psychological performance: risk factors for attempted suicide among Swedish male conscripts.

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  • 1Swedish National and Stockholm County Council Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention at the National Institute of Psychosocial Factors and Health, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm.



To investigate potential risk factors of attempted suicide among young male conscripts without previous attempts.


A nation-wide cohort of young men in Sweden was followed to observe the occurrence of attempted suicide after military-enlistment examination. Information from the examination was linked with data from national hospital in-patient and other registries.


150,395 Swedish young men born during 1973-75 were followed for up to 2 years. One hundred and fifty-five people made suicide attempts during the follow-up period. Body height, suitability for being an officer and performance in a logic test at the examination were included in a final multivariate Cox regression model, and found to be significantly inversely associated with the risk of attempted suicide.


The results suggest for the first time that short stature and poor psychological performance at conscription examination may be helpful to identify groups with increased risk of attempted suicide during 1-1.5 years after enlistment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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