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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1994 Nov;90(5):348-53.

Suicide in South Africa. An analysis of nationally registered mortality data for 1984-1986.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Cape Town, Groote Schuur Hospital, South Africa.


Nationally registered suicide mortality data for South Africa (1984-1986) were analysed. There were 5448 deaths (1.3%) due to suicide in this period. Proportional mortality and mean annual suicide mortality rates were highest for whites, followed by Asians and then coloureds. The proportional mortality for blacks was similar to that of coloureds. Suicide was relatively prominent as a cause of death for Asian females (15-24 years). For whites, the most commonly used method of suicide was firearms. Except for coloured females, hanging was the most common method used for the other population groups. Political, economic, and religious factors may account for some of the differences. Cultural factors may explain the findings for young Asian females. There is a need for strict gun control legislation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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