Seminar on Suicide and Mortality after Attempted Suicide in Taipei City

Abstract

Objective:

To investigate mortality after attempted suicide in Taipei City

Method:

This prospective cohort study evaluated 7601 cases of suicide presenting to emergency departments at hospitals in Taipei City during Jan 2004 and Dec 2006. Information about deaths was determined from the death records. Standard mortality ratios (SMRs) for suicide and non-suicide mortality for the cohort were calculated. Potential risk factors were investigated by using Cox’s proportional hazards models.

Results:

After an average of 3-year follow up, 516 cases died (201 suicide; 315 non-suicide mortality). The SMRs for suicide was 59.9 [95% CI (51.04, 61.93)] and for non-suicide mortality was 4.41 [95% CI (3.94, 4.93)]. Male and the elderly had higher subsequent mortality after the attempt. The risk of suicide completion varied substantially according to the method used at the index attempt. Individuals who had attempted suicide by handing had the worst prognosis [adjusted hazard ratio: 5.62, 95% CI (2.67, 11.82)], followed by charcoal burning, suicide [adjusted hazard ratio: 2.04, 95% CI (1.08, 3.86)].

Conclusion:

Following an episode of suicide attempt, there is a significant risk of suicide as well as other non-suicide mortality. Use of more lethal method at the index attempt posed greater risk of suicide, after adjustment for socio demographic confounding and psychiatric disorders. Better aftercare following, attempted suicide particularly for those who used more lethal methods, must be a key element in national suicide prevention strategies.

Link to presentation slides (Feb 24, 2011)

About the Speaker

Dr. Ying-Yeh Chen is a practicing psychiatrist at Taipei City Psychiatric Center and an associate professor at National Yang-Ming University Taipei Taiwan. She is in charge of the research section at Taipei City Suicide Prevention Center. She got her doctorate degree in social epidemiology from Harvard University. Her research focuses on suicide and suicide prevention.


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