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Br J Psychiatry. 2005 Dec;187:583-4.

Epidemiology of intentional self-poisoning in rural Sri Lanka.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, PO Box 271, 25 Kynsey Road, Colombo 8, Sri Lanka. eddlestonm@eureka.lk

Abstract

We investigated the epidemiology of intentional self-poisoning in rural Sri Lanka by prospectively recording 2189 admissions to two secondary hospitals. Many patients were young (median age 25 years), male (57%) and used pesticides (49%). Of the 198 who died,156 were men (case fatality 12.4%) and 42 were women (4.5%). Over half of female deaths were in those under 25 years old; male deaths were spread more evenly across age groups. Oleander and paraquat caused 74% of deaths in people under 25 years old; thereafter organophosphorous pesticides caused many deaths. Although the age pattern of self-poisoning was similar to that of industrialised countries, case fatality was more than 15 times higher and the pattern of fatal self-poisoning different.

PMID:
16319413
PMCID:
PMC1475924
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.187.6.583
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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