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

Varnik, A. and Kolves, K. and van der Felz-Cornelis, Christina M and Marusic, Andrej and Oskarsson, H. and Palmer, Ann P. and Reisch, Thomas and Scheerder, G. and Arensman, Ella and Aromaa, Esa and Giupponi, Giancarlo and Gusmão, Ricardo and Maxwell, Margaret and Pull, Charles and Szekely, A. and Perez Sola, V. and Hegerl, Ulrich (2008) Suicide methods in Europe: a gender-specific analysis of countries participating in the "European Alliance Against Depression". Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 62 (6). pp. 545-551. ISSN 0143-005X . (doi: (Full text available)

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Objective: To identify the most frequent gener-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.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA790 Mental health
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Paula Loader
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2009 14:26 UTC
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2014 11:27 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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