Some differences between men and women who commit suicide

University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine.
American Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 12.3). 07/1988; 145(6):718-22. DOI: 10.1176/ajp.145.6.718
Source: PubMed


Men have persistently had a several-fold higher suicide rate than women. In this study of 204 consecutive suicides, the authors examined three areas in which the men differed from the women. Men used more violent, immediately lethal methods of suicide, were almost three times more likely to be substance abusers, and were more likely to have economic problems as stressors. The authors conclude that while the difference in suicide rate between men and women is complexly determined, the weight of the evidence suggests that more men than women intend to commit suicide.

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    • "When we ask why Chinese women are at relatively high risk of suicide, we should also ask why Chinese men are at such a relatively low risk, as there is no standardized rate or criterion for suicide in the world. Trying to account for the different suicide gender ratios and disparities in men and women, researchers have studied the biological differences between men and women in Europe (Hawton 2000; Steffensmeier 1984), mental disorder disparities in the United States (Rich et al. 1988), physiology in China (Zhang 2000), methods used in suicide in the United States and Europe (Callanan and Davis 2011, 2012; Schrijvers 2012; Värnik et al. 2008), gender role in the United States (Canetto and Sakinofsky 1998), and culture in the United States (Girard 1993; Stack 1998). Previous studies on the gender disparities in Chinese suicide have focused on the risk factors of female suicide (Li et al. 2012; Wang et al. 2008; Zhang 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: The gender (male to female) ratio of the Chinese suicide rates is different from those found in the rest of the world. None of the other societies with known suicide data has had female suicide rates higher than those for the males. While we investigate the factors that contribute to the relatively high suicide rates for Chinese women, we also need to ask what makes the relatively low suicide rates for Chinese men. In this study we try to examine some social and cultural variables in rural Chinese youths in order to identify the factors that account for the relatively low rate for men and relatively high rate for women. In rural China, 392 suicides (both men and women) aged 14–35 years consecutively sampled from 16 counties of three provinces were studied with 416 community living controls of the same age range and from the same locations. Case–control psychological autopsy method was used for the data collection. It is found that believing in Confucianism and being married are both protecting the rural young men from suicide, while the two same variables are either risk or non-protecting factors for the Chinese rural young women’s suicide. In rural China, social structure and culture may play an even more important role determining a society’s suicide rates as well as the gender ratios. Thus, suicide prevention may need to include culture specific measures.
    Sex Roles 02/2013; 70(3-4):146-154. DOI:10.1007/s11199-013-0333-9 · 1.47 Impact Factor
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    • "Suicide prevention requires a comprehensive response to the intimate link between substance use disorders and suicide. Psychological autopsy studies in different continents during different decades have consistently shown major depression and substance use disorders, particularly alcoholism, as the most prevalent psychiatric disorders in suicides (Barraclough et al., 1974; Rich et al., 1988; Duberstein et al., 1994; Conwell et al., 1996). Follow-up studies (Harris and Barraclough, 1997; Hiroeh et al., 2001; Wilcox et al., 2004) and case– control studies using the psychological autopsy method have identified substance-related disorders and particularly alcohol-related disorders as risk factors for suicide in spite of differences in diagnostic methodology (Lesage et al., 1994; Cheng, 1995; Foster et al., 1999; Vijayakumar and Rajkumar, 1999; Waern, 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: Cultural and regional differences on the well-known elevated suicide risk in substance use disorders have not been clarified yet. Therefore, the suicide risk associated with substance use disorders in a society of transition and in a socially and economically stable society should be identified and compared. Data from two population-based matched case-control studies were used to analyse the association between alcohol and other substance consumption and the risk of suicide. Data in Frankfurt were obtained by a semi-structured interview including the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I (SCID-I) in 163 suicides that occurred in 1999 and 2000, and data from Tallinn were collected according to DSM-IV criteria on 156 deceased persons who committed suicide in 1999 by using the psychological autopsy method and in each city in matched population-based control persons by personal interview. In both cities, substance use disorders were significantly associated with suicide. Odds ratios for suicide were higher in Tallinn than in Frankfurt. The highest risk was observed in Tallinn among men with alcohol use disorders, aged 35 to 59 years. Although substance use and, in particular, alcohol use disorders were confirmed as risk factors for suicide in Tallinn and in Frankfurt, the much higher suicide risk associated with alcoholism in Tallinn than in Frankfurt indicates the importance of cultural, socio-political, and regional impact of suicide risk in alcoholism.
    Psychiatry Research 02/2009; 165(3):263-72. DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2008.03.022 · 2.47 Impact Factor
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    • "Psychological autopsy studies of over 100 unselected suicide cases have shown an association with alcohol abuse and dependence (AAD) for 34–44 % of suicides in Asia (Cheng, 1995; Vijayakumar & Rajkumar, 1999), 20 % in Australia (Chynoweth et al. 1980), 15–43% in Europe (Barraclough et al. 1974 ; Frances et al. 1987; Arato et al. 1988 ; Henriksson et al. 1993 ; Foster et al. 1999) and 23–47 % in the USA (Robins et al. 1959 ; Dorpat & Ripley, 1960 ; Rich et al. 1988). "
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of the study was to estimate the proportion of alcohol abuse and dependence (AAD) among suicides and controls, and to compare the incidence of AAD documented by clinicians with diagnoses derived from a research protocol. AAD according to DSM-IV was diagnosed on the basis of interviews with relatives of people who committed suicide and with controls. A total of 427 people who committed suicide during one year were paired by region, gender, age and nationality with controls randomly selected from general practitioners' lists. Alcohol abuse was found in 10% and alcohol dependence in 51% of suicide cases. The corresponding figures for controls were 7% and 14% respectively. AAD was a statistically significant predictor of completed suicides, while abstinence was a significant predictor for female suicides and former use a significant predictor for older male suicides. AAD was diagnosed in 68% of male and 29% of female suicides. Middle-aged (35-59 years) males who committed suicide had the highest risk of alcohol dependence. Among suicide cases only 29% had received a lifetime diagnosis of AAD, against 23% of controls. AAD was significantly more prevalent among suicides than controls. Overall, the proportion of male suicides affected by alcohol was the same in the present psychological autopsy study as in our previous findings for Estonia on the aggregate level, while the share of female suicides with an AAD diagnosis was dramatically higher on the individual level. AAD is markedly underdiagnosed by general practitioners and clinicians.
    Psychological Medicine 08/2006; 36(7):923-30. DOI:10.1017/S0033291706007707 · 5.94 Impact Factor
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