The epidemiology and prevention of suicide by hanging: a systematic review
ABSTRACT Hanging is one of the most commonly used methods for suicide worldwide. In England and a number of other countries, its incidence has increased over the last 30 years. This review summarizes the published literature on suicide by hanging. The focus is on its epidemiology in England and on identifying potential means of prevention.
We searched Medline (1966-2003), Embase (1980-2003), CINAHL (1982-2003) and PsycINFO (1967-2003). As considerable research on suicides occurring in prisons and psychiatric hospitals in England and Wales has been carried out by the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide (Manchester) and the Prison Service's Safer Custody Group, we obtained additional information from these sources.
Only a small proportion (around 10%) of hanging suicides occur in the controlled environments of hospitals, prisons, and police custody; the remainder occur in the community. The most commonly used ligatures (rope, belts, flex) and ligature points (beams, banisters, hooks, door knobs, and trees) are widely available; thus prevention strategies focused around restriction of access to means of hanging are of limited value. Around 50% of hanging suicides are not fully suspended--ligature points below head level are commonly used. Case fatality following attempted suicide by hanging is around 70%; the majority (80-90%) of those who reach hospital alive survive.
Strategies to reduce suicide by hanging should focus on the prevention of suicide in controlled environments, the emergency management of 'near-hanging' and on the primary prevention of suicide in general. More research is required to better understand the recent rise in popularity of this method.
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ABSTRACT: Although hanging injury is infrequent, its clinical course is usually devastating. Hanging patients usually need cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). However, hanging-associated cardiovascular damage has not been fully established. The aim of this study was to evaluate echocardiographic findings in patients with hanging injury. We enrolled 25 patients (9 males and 16 females with mean age of 33±15 years) with hanging injury. Echocardiography was performed within 2 weeks after admission. Clinical, demographic, and laboratory data as well as transthoracic echocardiographic findings were analyzed. Of the 25 patients, 8 (2 males and 6 females with mean age of 34±13 years) showed left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD). Mean LV ejection fraction was 34±16%. Global hypokinesia was present in one patient. Apical ballooning with sparing of the basal segment was present in two patients. Basal akinesia and apical hyperkinesia were present in one patient. Four patients showed regional wall motion abnormalities unmatched with coronary territories. The duration of suspension or CPR was not significantly different according to the presence of LVSD. This study showed the echocardiographic findings in considerable numbers of patients with hanging injury for the first time. Variable patterns of LVSD were present in patients with hanging injury. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.Resuscitation 12/2014; 88. DOI:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2014.12.004 · 3.96 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Those suicide attempters that choose violent methods dramatically diminish the possibility of survival. Completed suicide using violent means, which is common among first-time suicide attempters, was recently found to be more likely among T allele carriers in the three most common ABCB1 SNPs, encoding for P-gp. Thus, this study examined, for the first time, whether these ABCB1 SNPs were associated with the use of violent means among survivors of a suicide attempt. Suicide attempters (n = 578, 87.4% women; of whom 16.6% committed a violent intent) were genotyped for exonic SNPs in the ABCB1 (C1236T, G2677T/A, C3435T). The relations of the three genotypes and of the TTT haplotype with the use of a violent suicide method were evaluated separately. The impact of confounds on these variables was controlled. A higher frequency (p = 0.02) of suicide attempters using violent methods was found among those carrying the ABCB1 haplotype (1236TT-2677TT-3435TT). Since gender and number of previous suicide attempts were identified as confounds, the relation was tested in the subset of women who were first-time attempters or second- and more-time attempters. The ABCB1 haplotype increased the risk more than three times in those women attempting a violent suicide for the first time (OR = 3.6; CI95%: 1.08-12.09; p = 0.04). The ABCB1 haplotype (1236TT-2677TT-3435TT) was related to the use of a violent suicide attempt method. Genotyping for these three ABCB1 SNPs may be helpful to detect people at risk of first suicide intents using violent methods. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.Journal of Psychiatric Research 12/2014; 61. DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2014.12.005 · 4.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The paper reports on an investigation carried out to ascertain the nature and causes of parasuicide cases handled by traditional leaders, as traditional African counsellors, in Hurungwe district in Zimbabwe. The study utilized a qualitative survey design. Phenomenological interviewing was used to collect the data on a purposefully selected sample of two chiefs and ten headmen and eleven family elders. The sample consisted of twenty-one male and two female traditional leaders. Content analysis, through emerging themes, was used in analyzing the data. The study revealed that traditional leaders offered counselling to victims of diverse suicidal attempts which included hanging and taking poison. Cases of parasuicide were reportedly caused by avenging spirits, marital, family and love disputes, financial problems and terminal illnesses. The study concludes that traditional leaders handled parasuicide cases of different types and causes. Recommendations were made that assistance be offered to traditional leaders to be better prepared to deal with the magnitude and complexity of parasuicide cases.