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Am J Epidemiol. 2002 Mar 1;155(5):413-9.

Suicide rates and religious commitment in young adult males in Utah.

Author information

1
Department of Statistics, 230 TMCB, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA. hiltons@byu.edu

Abstract

Previous studies have used population data to demonstrate an inverse association between suicide rates and religious commitment. This report examines Utah suicide rates for young men aged 15-34 years, stratified by their membership in and commitment to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), the predominant religion in Utah. All state death records for males from 1991 to 1995 were obtained and linked to LDS church deceased membership records to obtain a measure of religious commitment that is not self-reported. Religious commitment for LDS church members was determined by age-appropriate priesthood office. Of the 27,738 male deaths reported, 15,555 (56%) linked to an LDS church record using a probabilistic linking program. Using active (high religious commitment) LDS as the reference group, the less-active (low religious commitment) LDS group had relative risks of suicide ranging from 3.28 (ages 15-19 years) to 7.64 (ages 25-29 years); nonmembers of the LDS church had relative risks ranging from 3.43 (ages 15-19 years) to 6.27 (ages 20-24 years). Although the mechanism of the association is unclear, higher levels of religiosity appear to be inversely associated with suicide.

PMID:
11867352
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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