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J Burn Care Rehabil. 2003 Jan-Feb;24(1):15-20.

Epidemiological study of self-inflicted burns in Tehran, Iran.

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Department of Microbiology, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Self-inflicted burns have been considered a serious mental health problem throughout the world and especially in economically developing countries. The aim of this study was to identify the epidemiologic features and current etiological factors of suicide by burning in Tehran, Iran, to develop effective prevention programs. Over a period of 2 years from March 1997 to March 1999, of the 1,236 patients aged 14 years and older who were admitted to Tohid Burn Center in Tehran, Iran, 110 (8.9%) had attempted suicide by self-immolation. The median age was 25 years (range: 14-68 years) and the median extent of the burns was 71% TBSA (range: 20-100%). Forty-eight patients had a previous psychiatric diagnosis (43.6%). Depression was the most common psychiatric diagnosis by history. The method most commonly used was a flame with the addition of a flammable liquid (frequently kerosene). Also, most of the patients (70%) were of a low socioeconomic class. Overall, self-inflicted burns should be considered an increasing mental health problem in our society. Therefore, it is necessary to implement prevention programs and strategies to reduce the incidence rate of this problem.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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