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J Forensic Leg Med. 2010 Jul;17(5):265-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2010.04.003. Epub 2010 May 5.

Hanging deaths in Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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Forensic Medicine Center, King Khaled Street, Dammam, Eastern Province, 6668/31176, Saudi Arabia.


A retrospective study was carried out on 133 suicidal hanging cases autopsied at Forensic Medicine Center in Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (from 2003 to 2007). Of these cases, 115 (86.46%) were males and 18 females (13.54%), with an average male:female ratio of 6.38. There was an increasing trend of hanging among ages between 21 and 50 years (88.7%), and the fourth decade had the highest number of victims (about 36%) between all age groups. Local Saudi nationals comprised a small proportion of cases (21 persons, 15.8%), while the others were foreigners working in the Kingdom with an Indian precedence (63 persons, 47.4%), followed by other 11 different nationalities representing 36.8% of the cases. The peak of these suicidal acts was in June and the least was in February and December. Postmortem blood alcohol was found in 6.76% of cases, amphetamine in 3% (4 cases), and cannabinoids in 2.25% (3 cases). About 75% of the deceased persons were male laborers (100 cases), 11.27% were female housemaids (15 cases), and only 13 persons were unemployed (9.77%). Previous history of psychological illnesses was documented in 19 cases (14.28%) and stressful family problems in 6% of cases. There were previous suicidal attempts in only one case. Suicidal note was found in only seven cases. In conclusion, there was a decreasing trend of suicide by hanging in Dammam from 39 cases in 2003 to 17 cases in 2007, with a rate of 0.85/100,000 population in the last year. This was inconsistent with the overall increase in suicide rate in Dammam when compared to the previous decade.

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