Antoon A Leenaars

Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Kristiania (historical), Oslo County, Norway

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Publications (101)80.15 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Previous research has reported mixed findings on the effect of the menstrual cycle on suicidal behavior. The contribution of menstruation to completed suicide is also controversial, though the studies are very limited and have not been carefully designed. To explore the relationship, 217 autopsies on completed suicides were performed, matched to a control group at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi. The results show that 54.46% of people who died by suicide were menstruating (results excluded pregnancies), compared to 6.75% of the control group. Menstruation in those who completed suicide, compared to a control group, appeared to have an association with suicide. More research is warranted.
    Psychological Reports 11/2007; 101(2):430-4. · 0.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: According to international and Mexican official statistics, there is a dramatic rise in suicide in Mexico; however, research in this area is severely limited. This is the first study of suicide notes from Mexico in the international literature. From a population of 747 registered suicides, a sample of 106 note-writers and 106 non-note writers was examined. Using the demographic (descriptive) scheme of Ho, Yip, Chiu, and Halliday (1998), the results indicate that note writers do not differ greatly from other suicides. The less educated understandably wrote fewer notes. The most intriguing finding was that suicide in Mexico was associated with an array of factors, notably interpersonal problems.
    Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 01/2007; 36(6):709-15. · 1.33 Impact Factor
  • M. Pompili, D. Lester, A. Leenaars
    European Psychiatry - EUR PSYCHIAT. 01/2007; 22.
  • Antoon A Leenaars
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    ABSTRACT: One of the oldest methods of preventing death is by environmental control. Removing the sword from the defeated soldier in battle, for example, is an environmental act of prevention. Suicide, homicide, and accidental deaths can be so prevented. It has been empirically established across the globe that availability of a potential dangerous lethal means affects the rate of use of the means for death. The greater the availability implies the greater the amounts of death. This is true about suicide, the most predominant form of violence in the world. Controlling the environment is a means of decreasing the incidence of suicide. Guns are the most lethal means, not only for suicides but also for other preventable deaths such as homicides and accidents. Furthermore, it is a scientific fact, not simply opinion, that reducing the availability of
    Wiener klinische Wochenschrift 09/2006; 118(15-16):439-41. · 0.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The epidemiology of suicide in Serbia and Montenegro from 1989 to 2003, a period of civil war, is presented. Following the break-up of former Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro underwent a period of war from 1991-1994 and another in 1999. During the war years, the number of suicides increased, reaching its peak in 1993. Male suicides outnumbered female suicides by a ratio of 2:1. Male suicides decreased slightly after the war of 1991-1994 only to rise in 1997 and continue at this higher level throughout the nineties. In Serbia alone, male suicide reached its peak in 2002 (nearly 29/100,000). The methods of suicide changed significantly, with the use of firearms doubling during and after the war years. Speculations are offered about the findings, many consistent with Durkheim's classical hypothesis concerning suicide and unpopular wars.
    Archives of Suicide Research 02/2006; 10(3):225-38. · 1.53 Impact Factor
  • Antoon A Leenaars
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    ABSTRACT: Indigenous people around the world have the highest suicide risk of any identifiable cultural (or ethnic) group. It is a youth epidemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for action; this special issue of Archives of Suicide Research (ASR) is an attempt to heed this call. Scholars, indigenous and non-indigenous, present data from the Arctic, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, and other regions. It is concluded that not only data, but also explanations are needed. Suicide is multi determined. Colonialism and its associated genocide are, however, cited as a common factor. Yet, much greater cooperative international efforts are needed to not only understand, but also predict and control the epidemic.
    Archives of Suicide Research 02/2006; 10(2):103-15. · 1.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Suicidal thought is a risk factor and a stage in the suicidal process from planning to attempting and dying by suicide. To date, studies on suicidal thought in the general population, especially in Asian communities, have been limited. The WHO SUPRE-MISS (the multisite intervention study on suicidal behaviours) community survey questionnaire was filled in for 2,280 randomly selected residents of the DongDa district of Hanoi, Vietnam by means of face-to-face interviews. This multi-factor questionnaire includes such variables as sociodemographic information, suicidal thought and history of suicide attempts, physical health, alcohol consumption and medication. Prevalence rates for life time suicidal thoughts, suicide plans and suicide attempts were 8.9%, 1.1% and 0.4% respectively. Suicidal thoughts are associated with multiple characteristics, such as female gender, single/widowed/separated/divorced marital status, low income, lifestyle (use of alcohol, sedatives and pain relief medication), but not with low education or employment status. Having no religion and being a Buddhist appear to be protective factors for suicidal thought. The ratio of suicidal thoughts, suicide plans and suicide attempts on a lifetime basis is 22.3:2.8:1. In Vietnam, as in Western and other Asian countries, suicidal thoughts are associated with similar negative psychosocial risk factors, lifestyle and emotional problems, which implies that suicide preventive measure developed elsewhere can be adjusted to Vietnamese condition. Understanding the unique and common risks in a culture may assist in prediction and control.
    BMC Public Health 02/2006; 6:76. · 2.08 Impact Factor
  • Antoon A Leenaars
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    ABSTRACT: People who have committed a certain sin ought to be dead; I am a person who has committed that sin; therefore, I ought to be dead. Thus is the logic of a suicidal mind. Lester, Szaz, and others argue the 'sinner' should always be allowed to kill him/herself. Shneidman, Leenaars and others do not agree. Once one knows the suicidal mind, it is easy to conclude the suicidal mind is not rational. The first premise is false! Therefore, the question is not, "Is suicide rational?" but "What is suicide?." Once you know the suicidal mind, you will agree with Shneidman and Leenaars, not Lester. Is it a good death if the sinner kills him/herself because he/she committed a certain sin?
    Death Studies 01/2006; 30(6):539-53. · 0.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The epidemiology of suicide in Thailand from 1977-2002 was presented. In the years 1977 and 2002, the suicide rates were 5.9 and 7.8 per 100,000 population. This is low compared to nearby Asian countries. The highest suicide rate was 8.6 per 100,000 in the year 1999, a time of economic crisis. The ratio of male to female suicide rate was 1.14:1 in the year 1977 and increased to 3.16:1 in the year 2002. The highest suicide rate was in young males, ages 25-29 and the trend shows an increase. Despite the increasing incidence, there has been little study to date; however, HIV/AIDS has been identified as a major risk factor.
    Archives of Suicide Research 02/2005; 9(4):361-8. · 1.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    OMEGA--Journal of Death and Dying 01/2005; 50(4):301-307. · 0.44 Impact Factor
  • Antoon A Leenaars, David Lester
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    ABSTRACT: A study by Leenaars and Lester (1995) found that suicide prevention centers in the provinces of Canada in 1985 had a preventive, but nonsignificant, impact on the suicide rates of the provinces. The present study replicated that study for 1994-1998 and found a similar preventive impact, although weak, of suicide prevention centers on the provincial suicide rates.
    Crisis The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention 02/2004; 25(2):65-8. · 1.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Over 100,000 people commit suicide each year in India; yet, there has been limited micro-based study. This study marks the first study of suicide notes in India. The sample consisted of all available note-writers (n = 50), with a comparative sample of non-note writers (n = 50) of all suicides (n = 320, 16.47% of all postmortems) during a 1(1/2) year period in the New Delhi area, India. Using the demographic (descriptive) schema of Ho, Yip, Chiu, and Halliday (1998), the results show that note writers do not differ greatly from other suicides. Males wrote more notes, but the more intriguing finding is the fact that suicide in India is associated to an array of psychiatric/psychological and social factors.
    Archives of Suicide Research 02/2004; 8(2):179-85. · 1.53 Impact Factor
  • Antoon A Leenaars
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    ABSTRACT: In the last few centuries, science has become arithmetic, tabular, taxonomic, to explain living creatures, chemical elements and even diseases of the mind. Emile Durkheim attempted to do the same with his enduring volume, Suicide: A Study of Sociology, first published in 1897. Durkheim showed that suicide could be divided into an order: egoistic, altruistic, anomic and fatalistic-here, we focus on the question, who is the altruistic suicide? Durkheim's additional question is raised: When is a motive praiseworthy and when not-when to be called altruistic or heroic, and when terrorist? Further study is warranted-and thus, this opening editorial to an array of studies on the topic, from antiquity to the Christian martyrs into this century, to the act of Sati in India, to the suicide bomber in the Moslem world.
    Archives of Suicide Research 02/2004; 8(1):1-7. · 1.53 Impact Factor
  • Antoon A Leenaars, Susanne Wenckstern
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    ABSTRACT: Suicidology is not alone in wrestling with the question, 'who are the altruistic suicides?' A review of a series of studies published in Archives of Suicide Research, suggests that maybe they are not different from other suicides. They are suicides; a case study of a "martyr" note reveals a suicide note. Emile Durkheim's sociological taxonomy suggests that the difference is probably on the outside, the social world. Yet, who decides what is honorable or not? Who are the suicide bombers? Martyrs? Terrorists? It appears that society(ies) defines the event, probably not the psychological aspects of the suicide(s). More research is, however, needed, but there are many obstacles to such study.
    Archives of Suicide Research 02/2004; 8(1):131-6. · 1.53 Impact Factor
  • Antoon A Leenaars, David Lester
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    ABSTRACT: Homicide rates in Canada have shown a decline since 1975, but there has been little empirical study of this trend. P. Holinger (1987) predicted and confirmed that the size of the cohort aged 15-24 in the United States population was associated with the rise and fall of the homicide rate in that country. This study was designed to test this hypothesis in Canada. The results show, even if one controls for other socio-economic variables, the most significant prediction of the decline was, indeed, the proportion of the youth population.
    Death Studies 01/2004; 28(3):263-5. · 0.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The rates and patterns of suicide in the United States and Australia re similar. There are, however, few empirical studies comparing these two countries; indeed, there is a paucity of cross-cultural study in suicidology in general. Suicide notes from both countries were compared, based on Leenaars' multidimensional model of suicide. No major differences were noted as is in keeping with similar studies of suicide notes around the world. It was concluded that the model may be applicable to suicides in both countries; further study is warranted.
    Perceptual and Motor Skills 07/2003; 96(3 Pt 2):1281-2. · 0.49 Impact Factor
  • Antoon A Leenaars
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    ABSTRACT: Older adults consistently have the highest rates of suicide in most societies. Despite the paucity of studies until recently, research has shown that suicides in later life are best understood as a multidimensional event. An especially neglected area of research is the psychological/psychiatric study of personality factors in the event. This paper outlines one comprehensive model of suicide and then raises the question: Is such a psychiatric/psychological theory applicable to all suicides in the elderly? To address the question, I discuss the case of Sigmund Freud; raise the topic of suicide and/or dignified death in the terminally ill; and examine suicide notes of the both terminally ill and nonterminally ill elderly. I conclude that, indeed, greater study and theory building are needed into the "suicides" of the elderly, including those who are terminally ill.
    Crisis The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention 02/2003; 24(1):7-16. · 1.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Suicide is a multiply determined behavior, calling for diverse prevention efforts. Gun control has been proposed as an important component of society's response, and an opportunity for studying the effects of legislative gun control laws on suicide rates was provided by Canada's Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1977 (Bill C-51). This article reviews previous studies of the impact of this act on the total population of Canada and subpopulations by age and gender and, in addition, presents the results of 2 new studies: a different method of analysis, an interrupted time-series analysis, and the results of a multiple regression analysis that controls for some social variables. It appears that Bill C-51 may have had an impact on suicide rates, even after controls for social variables.
    Death Studies 01/2003; 27(2):103-24. · 0.92 Impact Factor
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    Antoon A. Leenaars
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    ABSTRACT: Suicide is lethal violence. The World Health Organization's recent report, World Report on Violence and Health, noted that suicide constitutes a serious public and mental health problem worldwide. The question posed in this article is, "Do people have a right to suicide and/or attempted suicide?" After a brief discussion of the word "suicide," an international perspective is offered as a way to answer the question and to offer views from a variety of countries. The history of suicide and contemporary perspectives on suicide are explicated. It is concluded that there is no universal answer to the question, but some commonalities exist that have an impact on issues of rights, such as treating suicide as a taboo, a crime, or a sin. A global response to suicide is needed so that suicide is not seen primarily as a crime, but as a multidimensional mental-health problem that can be reduced. /// Le suicide est une violence mortelle. Le récent rapport de l'Organisation Mondiale de la Santé (OMS) intitulé World Report on Violence and Health (Rapport mondial sur la violence et la santé) a indiqué que le suicide constitue un problème grave dans les domaines de la santé publique et de la santé mentale dans le monde entier. La question posée dans cet article est la suivante: " A t'on le droit de se suicider et/ou de tenter de se suicider? " Après une brève discussion du terme " suicide ", une perspective internationale est présentée comme façon de répondre à la question et de montrer des opinions exprimées dans divers pays. L'histoire du suicide ainsi que des points de vue contemporains sur le suicide sont expliqués. Pour conclure, l'auteur de cet article indique qu'il n'existe pas de réponse universellement acceptée à cette question, mais seulement certains points communs qui ont un impact sur des questions affectant les droits, comme le fait de traiter le suicide comme un tabou, un crime ou un péché. Il est nécessaire de formuler une réponse au suicide à l'échelle mondiale de façon à ce que celui-ci ne soit pas considéré principalement comme un crime, mais plutôt comme un problème de santé mentale multidimensionnel dont l'incidence peut être réduite. /// El suicidio es violencia mortal. El reporte reciente de la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS), "Reporte mundial sobre violencia y salud", apunta que el suicidio constituye un serio problema de salud mental y pública en todo el mundo. La pregunta que plantea este artículo es: ¿Acaso las personas tienen el derecho al suicidio y/o intentar el suicidio? Después de una breve discusión acerca de la palabra "suicidio", se ofrece una perspectiva internacional como una forma de responder a la pregunta, ofreciendo las diferentes perspectivas de una variedad de países. Se explican la historia del suicidio y las perspectivas contemporáneas acerca de este. El artículo concluye que no existe una respuesta universal a la pregunta, pero existen tendencias comunes que tienen impacto en los derechos, tales como considerar el suicidio como un tabú, un crimen o un pecado. Se necesita una respuesta global al suicidio para que este no sea considerado como un crimen, sino como un problema multidimensional de salud mental que puede ser reducido.
    Health and Human Rights 01/2003; 6(2).
  • Shalina Girdhar, T. D. Dogra, Antoon A. Leenaars
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract The epidemiology of suicide in India from 1995-1999 was presented. The data show an increasing incidence of suicide; over 100,000 people commit suicide each year in India. The ratio of male|female is small by international comparisons. Illness and interpersonal|familial factors appear to be common motives, although suicide is more complex in India. Further, it is concluded that India's data may well be problematic, being overly based on police records and that a much greater micro study to identify the multideterminant factors of suicide in India is needed.
    Archives of Suicide Research. 01/2003; 7(4):389-393.

Publication Stats

538 Citations
80.15 Total Impact Points


  • 2010–2012
    • Norwegian Institute of Public Health
      • • Department of Health Surveillance and Suicide Prevention
      • • Division for Mental Health
      Kristiania (historical), Oslo County, Norway
    • Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
      • Division of Biomedical Informatics
      Cincinnati, OH, United States
  • 2007–2010
    • All India Institute of Medical Sciences
      • Department of Forensic Medicine
      New Delhi, NCT, India
    • University of Alberta
      Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 2009
    • Rajavithi Hospital
      Krung Thep, Bangkok, Thailand
  • 2007–2009
    • Universidad de Guanajuato
      Ciudad Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico
  • 2008
    • Gazi University
      • Department of Forensic Medicine
      Engüri, Ankara, Turkey
    • Ghent University
      Gand, Flanders, Belgium
  • 1995–2008
    • Leiden University
      Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 2006
    • Karolinska Institutet
      • Department of Public Health Sciences
      Solna, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 1991–2005
    • The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
      • Department of Psychology
      New Jersey, United States
  • 1999
    • Tel Aviv University
      Tell Afif, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • 1997
    • University of Adelaide
      Tarndarnya, South Australia, Australia
  • 1996
    • University of Windsor
      Windsor, Ontario, Canada
  • 1993
    • Drexel University
      • Department of Economics and International Business
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States