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Med Sci Law. 2005 Jan;45(1):39-46.

Trends in suicide mortality in the deprived region of Epirus (north-west Greece) during the period 1998-2002.

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  • 1Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Medical School, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Greece.


This study determines the risk factors associated with suicide rates and the investigation of time trends in the deprived region of Epirus, north-west Greece, which is considered to be one of the least developed prefectures of the EU. Data selected demonstrated: (1) a mean age-standardized suicide rate per year of 4.00/100,000 for males, 1.29/100,000 for females and 2.65/100,000 for the total population; (2) a significant rising trend of male suicides in the 35-44 and 65-74 age groups; (3) a low female suicide rate in < 35 years age group and a relatively stable rate in the other age groups; (4) a significantly higher suicide rate in men than in women from both urban and rural areas and in older men from rural areas; (5) higher rates of suicide among widowed men and unmarried women; (6) the use of predominantly violent suicide methods, especially self-shooting, hanging and drowning; (7) a significant peak in the total suicide rate in the spring and summer months and a decreased rate in September; and (8) three out of four of the suicide victims had consumed alcohol and/or other drugs before the act. Data reported here shows some remarkable trends compared to previous reports on suicide in Greece and other countries, probably due to cultural and life style characteristics of the study population.

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