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J Epidemiol Community Health. 2008 Jun;62(6):545-51. doi: 10.1136/jech.2007.065391.

Suicide methods in Europe: a gender-specific analysis of countries participating in the "European Alliance Against Depression".

Author information

1
Estonian-Swedish Mental Health and Suicidology Institute, Estonian Centre of Behavioural and Health Sciences, Oie 39, Tallinn 11615, Estonia. airiv@online.ee

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To identify the most frequent gender-specific suicide methods in Europe.

DESIGN:

Proportions of seven predominant suicide methods utilised in 16 countries participating in the European Alliance Against Depression (EAAD) were reported in total and cross-nationally. Relative risk (RR) relating to suicide methods and gender was calculated. To group countries by pattern of suicide methods, hierarchical clustering was applied.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:

Data on suicide methods for 119,122 male and 41,338 female cases in 2000-4/5 from 16 EAAD countries, covering 52% of European population were obtained.

RESULTS:

Hanging was the most prevalent suicide method among both males (54.3%) and females (35.6%). For males, hanging was followed by firearms (9.7%) and poisoning by drugs (8.6%); for females, by poisoning by drugs (24.7%) and jumping from a high place (14.5%). Only in Switzerland did hanging rank as second for males after firearms. Hanging ranked first among females in eight countries, poisoning by drugs in five and jumping from a high place in three. In all countries, males had a higher risk than females of using firearms and hanging and a lower risk of poisoning by drugs, drowning and jumping. Grouping showed that countries might be divided into five main groups among males; for females, grouping did not yield clear results.

CONCLUSIONS:

Research on suicide methods could lead to the development of gender-specific intervention strategies. Nevertheless, other approaches, such as better identification and treatment of mental disorders and the improvement of toxicological aid should be put in place.

PMID:
18477754
PMCID:
PMC2569832
DOI:
10.1136/jech.2007.065391
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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