Guns and Suicide in the United States

Harvard Injury Control Research Center, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA.
New England Journal of Medicine (Impact Factor: 55.87). 10/2008; 359(10):989-91. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp0805923
Source: PubMed
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    • "Why might the availability of firearms increase the risk of suicide? Miller and Hemenway (2008, pp. 989–990) offer several reasons. "
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    ABSTRACT: Scholars and public health officials alike have expressed significant concern over the dramatic growth in suicide among young Black males. Work in this area has focused primarily on the 1980s and early 1990s as key evidence of this concern. In the current study, we use a longer time series from 1982 to 2001 to examine exactly what these suicide trends look like as well as how and why they vary across US cities. The findings show that trends are more complex than originally perceived, that despite an average national trend there is significant variation in suicide trajectories across cities, that the general rise in rates into the early 1990s was followed by a substantial decline by the turn of the century, and that concentrated disadvantage and gun availability emerge as important predictors of differences in trends across cities.
    Journal of African American Studies 03/2014; 18(1). DOI:10.1007/s12111-013-9256-3
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    • "24% of the people who made near-lethal suicide attempts took less than 5 min between the decision to kill themselves and the actual attempt, and 70% less than 1 h (Miller and Hemenway, 2008). Furthermore, many suicidal crises are self-limiting, with the urge to attempt suicide subsiding as the acute phase of the crisis passes (Miller and Hemenway, 2008). Therefore, train frequency is crucial for suicidal persons who have found their way to the tracks and are waiting or wandering around there for some time (R ˚ adbo et al., 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: When compared to German rates, train suicides in the Netherlands have made up a larger proportion of the total number of suicides. This study examines whether this difference is attributable to railway parameters, familiarity with rail transport, or population density. Dutch and German train suicide rates from 2000 to 2007 were compared by means of Poisson regression analyses. Train suicide rate ratios were calculated and related to the railway parameters or population density in a Poisson regression model. The Dutch-German general suicide rate ratio was 0.72. In contrast, the train suicide rate in the Netherlands exceeded the German rate by 1.23. In the Poisson regression analyses, where suicide rate was related to railway density or passenger traffic intensity, the Dutch-German train suicide rate ratios became 1.49 and 1.20 respectively. When related to train traffic intensity or population density, however, rate ratios turned into 0.74 and 0.59 respectively. Train traffic intensity contributes to train suicide frequency. Population density also contributes, whereas railway density and familiarity with rail transport do not. In a cross-national comparison the availability hypothesis regarding the number of trains passing was confirmed, which leads to the recommendation of limiting access to the railway tracks.
    02/2013; 209(3). DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2012.12.026
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    • "Our finding is in line with previous research demonstrating reduced suicide falls when safety barriers (e.g., security nets) are installed at known suicide jumping sites [2,3]. Given the impulsive nature of many suicidal acts and the often short-term nature of acute suicidal crises [11,12], such preventive measures might even reduce overall suicide rates, at least to some degree [13]. This is supported by findings from previous research which indicate that there seems to be no immediate and complete shift to other jumping sites [2] or to other methods [7,13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Jumping from heights is a readily available and lethal method of suicide. This study examined the effectiveness of a minimal structural intervention in preventing suicide jumps at a Swiss general teaching hospital. Following a series of suicide jumps out of the hospital's windows, a metal guard rail was installed at each window of the high-rise building. In the 114 months prior to the installation of the metal guard rail, 10 suicides by jumping out of the hospital's windows occurred among 119,269 inpatients. This figure was significantly reduced to 2 fatal incidents among 104,435 inpatients treated during the 78 months immediately following the installation of the rails at the hospital's windows (χ2 = 4.34, df = 1, p = .037). Even a minimal structural intervention might prevent suicide jumps in a general hospital. Further work is needed to examine the effectiveness of minimal structural interventions in preventing suicide jumps.
    BMC Research Notes 08/2012; 5:408. DOI:10.1186/1756-0500-5-408
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