Epidemiology of Completed Suicides Referred to Forensic Pathology Organization of Tehran, Iran, During March 2011 to March 2016

Siamak Soltani, Kamran Aghakhani, Abdolrazzagh Barzegar, Mohammadreza Ghadirzadeharani, Fardin Fallah

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Abstract

Background: Completed or successful suicide is the worst outcome of suicide attempts. This study is an epidemiologic investigation of successful suicides in Tehran, Iran.
Methods: In this routine-data-based study, the records of successful suicides in Forensic Pathology Organization of Tehran were investigated with respect to confidentiality of information during March 2011 to March 2016. The obtained data were analyzed by SPSS 11.5. Statistically significant level was considered at less than 0.05.
Results: A total of 1773 cases with mean (SD) age of 33.19(13.11) years and male-to-female ratio of 3.1 were included in the study. The mean age of male victims was greater than that of female ones (P=0.01). Of victims, 821(46.3%) were single and 807(45.5%) were unemployed/housewife. Methods of suicide were hanging in 962(54.6%), poisoning in 640(35.8%), falling in 88(5%), burning in 35(2%), shooting in 29(1.6%) and others in 19(1%) cases. Of poisoned cases, 283(44%) were victims of aluminum phosphide ingestion. Generally, frequency of married victims was greater than single ones but by comparing genders, relative frequency of single victims was greater among males (P<0.001). There was statistically significant association between suicide methods and age (P=0.001), gender (P<0.001), and occupation (P<0.001) of victims. Among different methods, shooting and poisoning were used by the youngest cases. Relative frequency of females was greatest in victims of burning and poisoning. Regarding occupational categories, poisoning was most frequent in students.
Conclusion: In this study, the majority of successful suicides happened in people with occupational uncertainty, thus preventive measures should prioritize this issue. It seems that women with marital problems are also prone to suicide and social support programs should target this group, too. Association between the method of suicide and demography of victims will help us to recognize common methods in various groups of the society and establish appropriate preventive measures. While limiting access to supplies of suicide (like legislation on distribution of drugs for prevention of poisoning) is valuable, fundamental interventions at community level will be more effective in prevention of all kinds of suicide.

Keywords

Completed suicide, Demography, Epidemiology, Methods

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