Risk and predictors of suicide and non-suicide mortality following non-fatal self-harm in Northern Taiwan
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- Chen, V.C.H., Chou, JY., Hsieh, TC. et al. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol (2013) 48: 1621. doi:10.1007/s00127-013-0680-4
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To investigate the risk and predictors of suicide and non-suicide mortality after self-harm in a Taiwanese population.
Between July 2006 and June 2008, 3,299 individuals who harmed themselves were recruited to a population-based self-harm register in Taoyuan County, Taiwan. They were followed until December 2008, with record linkage for date and cause of death in a national mortality database.
In total, 115 individuals died, 52 through suicide. The risks of suicide and non-suicide mortality in the first year were 1.5 and 2.2 %, respectively, representing an approximately 75-fold and 5-fold age- and gender-standardized increase compared with the general population in Taiwan. Male gender, rural residence, more lethal methods of self-harm and self-cited stressors for the index self-harm episode (unemployment, and chronic somatic illness) were independent risk factors for suicide mortality. Male gender, older age, rural residence and more lethal methods of self-harm were also independent risk factors for non-suicide mortality. The association between of unemployment as a cited reason for self-harm and later suicide was strongest in men and in those aged more than 45 years.
Relatively high rates of suicide and non-suicide mortality were found following self-harm. Suicide prevention needs to take into account of risk factors for fatal repetition of self-harm.