, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 243-250

Suicides in Hong Kong, 1981–1994

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Abstract

Suicide in Hong Kong is experiencing a slight upward trend. The standardized suicide rate increased by 9.8% from 10.3 per 100,000 population in 1981 to 11.3 per 100,000 in 1994. About 57% of the increase can be explained by a change in the age composition and the ageing problem, in Hong Kong. Suicide ranked seventh in the ten leading causes of death since 1985. It was the leading cause of death in females aged 15–24 years. The female suicide rate in Hong Kong was among the highest in the world. The suicide rate increased steadily with age. Males aged 75 years or over had the highest suicide rate among all age groups in the population. Furthermore, in single males aged 60 years, the suicide rate was 80 per 100,000. The suicide rate for economically inactive persons was 4 times more than for the active. Jumping has become increasingly common and seems to substitute for other methods of suicide. The years of potential life lost were 342 years per 100,000 population in 1994.