Gender issues in suicide rates, trends and methods among youths aged 15-24 in 15 European countries

Värnik, Airi and Kõlves, Kairi and Allik, Jüri and Arensman, Ella and Aromaa, Esa and van Audenhove, Chantal and Bouleau, Jean-Hervé and van der Feltz-Cornelis, Christina M and Giupponi, Giancarlo and Gusmão, Ricardo and Kopp, Maria and Marusic, Andrej and Maxwell, Margaret and Óskarsson, Högni and Palmer, Ann P. and Pull, Charles and Realo, Anu and Reisch, Thomas and Schmidtke, Armin and Pérez Sola, Victor and Wittenburg, Lisa and Hegerl, Ulrich (2009) Gender issues in suicide rates, trends and methods among youths aged 15-24 in 15 European countries. Journal of Affective Disorders, 113 (3). pp. 216-226. ISSN 0165-0327. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Background No recent cross-country examinations for youth suicide trends and methods for Europe were found. Aim The aim of the study is to specify differences in suicide rates, trends and methods used among 15–24 years olds by gender across 15 European countries. Method Data for 14,738 suicide cases in the age group 15–24 in 2000–2004/5 were obtained and analysed. Results Suicide rates ranged 5.5–35.1 for males and 1.3–8.5 for females. Statistically significant decline since 2000 was observed in Germany, Scotland, Spain, and England for males and in Ireland for females. Hanging was most frequently used for both genders, followed by jumping and use of a moving object for males and jumping and poisoning by drugs for females. Male suicides had a higher risk than females of using firearms and hanging and lower risk of poisoning by drugs and jumping. There were large differences between single countries. Limitations The limitations of the study are the small numbers of specific suicide methods in some countries as well as the re-categorisation of ICD-9 codes into ICD-10 in England, Ireland and Portugal. Further, the use of suicides (X60–X84) without events of undetermined deaths (Y10–Y34) continues to be problematic considering the possibility of “hidden suicides”. Conclusions The present study shows that suicide rates among young males are decreasing since 2000 in several European countries. Analysis of suicide methods confirms that there is a very high proportion of hanging in youths, which is extremely difficult to restrict. However, besides hanging there are also high rates of preventable suicide methods and reducing the availability of means should be one of the goals of suicide prevention.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Suicide rates; Trends; Methods; Age 15–24; Europe; Country differences
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman > HQ1236 Gender Politics
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
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: Tony Rees
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2010 14:29
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2014 15:28
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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