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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2004 Jun 11;53(22):481-4.

Suicide and attempted suicide--China, 1990-2002.


Suicide is the fifth leading cause of death overall in China and the leading cause of death in persons aged 15-34 years. During 1995-1999, approximately 287,000 persons died each year from suicide, a national rate of 23 per 100,000 population. In addition, an estimated 2 million suicide attempts occur each year. To characterize suicides and attempted suicides in China, analyses were conducted of 1) a psychological autopsy study comparing suicides with other injury deaths and 2) three studies of attempted suicides. This report summarizes the results of these analyses, which indicated that 58% of China's suicides were caused by ingesting pesticide, 91% of suicide victims had never visited a mental health professional, and 45% of suicide attempts were impulsive acts performed after considering suicide for </=10 minutes. To reduce suicides and suicide attempts, prevention strategies directed at disrupting patterns of suicidal behavior should be implemented in China.

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