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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 99, Issue 5, pp 406–410 | Cite as

The Ten-year Trend in Suicide Methods

Evidence from an Asian Population
  • Kuo-Hsuan Chung
  • Hsin-Chien Lee
  • Shu-Fen Chen
  • Herng-Ching LinEmail author
Article

Abstract

Objective

Despite the wealth of studies investigating methods of committing suicide, very few studies have been undertaken in which the focus has been placed on the long-term trend in suicide methods. The aim of this study is therefore to examine the changes in suicide methods in Taiwan.

Methods

Our study uses 1995–2004 ‘cause of death’ data, obtained from the Department of Health in Taiwan, to explore the trend in suicide methods among different age and gender groups. The autoregressive integrated moving average model is applied to examine the change in suicide methods among 25,062 suicide deaths during the ten-year study period.

Results

Dramatic rises were identified in the proportions of suicides committed by poisoning by means of gases and vapors (both p<0.001) in the <34 and 35–64 years age groups between 1995 and 2004, as compared to steady declines in the proportions of suicides committed by hanging, strangulation or suffocation, and poisoning by solid or liquid substances (all p<0.001). However, for the >64 years age group, the proportions remained steady throughout the study period for all suicide methods, with the one exception of jumping from heights.

Conclusions

Poisoning by gases and vapors is identified as being an increasingly popular method of committing suicide in Taiwan among both genders under the age of 65 years.

Key words

Suicide suicide methods suicide trend 

Résumé

Objectif

Il existe une foule d’études sur les méthodes employées pour se suicider, mais très peu portent sur les tendances à long terme dans le choix des méthodes. C’est pourquoi nous avons voulu examiner l’évolution des méthodes de suicide à Taïwan.

Méthode

À partir des données du ministère taïwanais de la Santé sur les « causes de décès » de 1995 à 2004, nous avons analysé les tendances relatives aux méthodes de suicide selon l’âge et le sexe. Nous avons appliqué le modèle autorégressif des moyennes mobiles intégrées pour étudier l’évolution des méthodes de suicide pour 25 062 décès par suicide survenus durant la période de référence de 10 ans.

Résultats

Nous avons observé des hausses spectaculaires dans la proportion des suicides par inhalation de gaz et de vapeurs (p<0,001 dans les deux cas) chez les personnes de moins de 34 ans et chez les 35 à 64 ans entre 1995 et 2004, mais des baisses soutenues dans la proportion des suicides par pendaison, strangulation ou suffocation, ainsi que par l’ingestion de poisons à l’état solide ou liquide (p<0,001 dans tous ces cas). Toutefois, chez les plus de 64 ans, les méthodes de suicide sont restées proportionnellement les mêmes tout au long de la période de référence, à l’exception des sauts dans le vide.

Conclusion

Les empoisonnements par inhalation de gaz et de vapeurs sont une méthode de suicide de plus en plus courante à Taïwan chez les hommes et les femmes de moins de 65 ans.

Mots clés

suicide méthodes de suicide tendances relatives au suicide 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kuo-Hsuan Chung
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hsin-Chien Lee
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shu-Fen Chen
    • 3
  • Herng-Ching Lin
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryTaipei Medical University HospitalTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.School of Medicine, Department of PsychiatryTaipei Medical UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.School of Health Care AdministrationTaipei Medical UniversityTaipei 110Taiwan

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