Gender differences in suicide methods

Department of Sociology, The University of Akron, Akron, USA.
Social Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 2.54). 05/2011; 47(6):857-69. DOI: 10.1007/s00127-011-0393-5
Source: PubMed


Gender differences in suicide completion rates have been attributed to the differences in lethality of suicide methods chosen by men and women, but few empirical studies have investigated factors other than demographic characteristics that might explain this differential.
Data from the 621 suicides in Summit County, Ohio during 1997-2006 were disaggregated by gender to compare known correlates of suicide risk on three methods of suicide-firearm, hanging and drug poisoning.
Compared to women, men who completed suicide with firearms were more likely to be married and committed the act at home. Unmarried men were likelier to hang themselves than married men, but unmarried women were less likely to hang themselves than married women. Men with a history of depression were more likely to suicide by hanging, but women with depression were half as likely to hang themselves compared to the women without a history of depression. Men with a history of substance abuse were more likely to suicide by poisoning than men without such history, but substance abuse history had no influence on women's use of poisoning to suicide. For both sexes, the odds of suicide by poisoning were significantly higher for those on psychiatric medications.

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Available from: Mark S Davis, Apr 28, 2015
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    • "according to previous studies in Japan [1-4]. Females are more likely to attempt suicide by poisoning than males, while males are more likely to use methods of suicide with high lethality like hanging than females [8,9]. In addition to these characteristics, some gender differences in sociodemographic characteristics of suicide committers or attempters are known. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background There is a shortage of empirical data concerning precipitating factors for suicides in Japan. The purpose of the present study was to clarify gender differences of precipitating factors for suicide attempts in Japan. Methods The subjects were high-lethality suicide attempters who were admitted to the Nippon Medical School Hospital Critical Care Medical Center between March 1, 2010 and March 31, 2012. Precipitating factors for suicide attempt, method of suicide attempt, psychiatric diagnoses and other sociodemographic data were collected from the patients’ medical records retrospectively, and statistical analyses were performed for categorical variables of male/female. Results The total number of subjects was 193 (88 males and 105 females). The rate of subjects attempting suicide by poisonous gas was significantly higher in males while that of subjects attempting suicide by drug overdose was significantly higher in females. The rate of subjects diagnosed with “major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder” was significantly higher in males while that of subjects diagnosed with “personality disorders” or “dysthymic disorder” was significantly higher in females. Subjects with “health problems”, “financial problems”, “work problems”, “debts (others)” or “unwanted transfer” were significantly more numerous among males; subjects with “family problems”, “parent–child relations” or “loneliness” were significantly more frequently found among females. Conclusions Mental disorders were the most common precipitating factor for suicide attempts regardless of gender. Significant gender differences were observed in psychiatric diagnoses, methods of suicide attempt and psychosocial problems. This indicates the necessity of suicide prevention measures corresponding to these gender differences.
    BMC Psychiatry 05/2014; 14(1):144. DOI:10.1186/1471-244X-14-144 · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    • "In particular, suicide rates have been found to be higher among males than females in the U.S. in large part because males tend to adopt more potentially lethal means of attempting suicide (Callanan and Davis, 2012; Hee Ahn et al., 2012). More specifically, men are more likely than women to kill themselves through the use of firearms or hanging, whereas female suicides are more likely than male ones to involve poisoning (Callanan and Davis, 2012). In the U.S., the former two suicide means have the highest case fatality ratios among all means of attempted suicide (85 for firearms, and 69 for hanging and suffocation), whereas the latter, in contrast, has a substantially lower case fatality ratio of two (Miller et al., 2012a). "
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