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Br J Psychiatry. 1975 Dec;127:575-82.

A further investigation of differences in the suicide rates of England and Wales and of Scotland.


National samples of case records of suicidal-type deaths from England and Wales and from Scotland were reassessed by officials in the other country. It emerged that similar criteria for suicide existed in both countries, and that there was no age-related tendency to misclassify cases. The lower official suicide rate amongst the old in Scotland was therefore considered not to result from ascertainment differences. It was also concluded that Scottish records were not so briefly documented as to prevent the conclusive ascertainment of cause by England and Wales coroners. Cases which were designated 'undetermined' in Scotland tended to be classified 'accidental' by coroners. Reasons for the lower incidence of suicide in Scotland are discussed.

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