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

Varnik, A., Kolves, K., van der Felz-Cornelis, Christina M, Marusic, Andrej, Oskarsson, H., Palmer, Ann P., Reisch, Thomas, Scheerder, G., Arensman, Ella, Aromaa, Esa, and others. (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:10.1136/jech.2007.065391) (KAR id:11750)


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
DOI/Identification number: 10.1136/jech.2007.065391
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions and public administration (Europe)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA790 Mental health
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > 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: 16 Nov 2021 09:50 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Palmer, Ann P..

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