Attempted suicide in Hanoi, Vietnam
- 158 Downloads
Attempted suicide is a key predictor of suicide, which is among the dominant causes of young people’s deaths worldwide. Very little is known about the characteristics of suicide attempters in Asia, especially in Vietnam.
Medical records of 509 patients (515 attempted-suicide events) admitted to Bach Mai General Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam from 1 January 1999 to 30 April 2001 were analysed according to the criteria of the WHO Multicentre Study of Attempted Suicide.
The suicide attempters’ mean age was 28.3±12.9 years. Nearly half (48.7%) were aged 15–24. The female-to-male ratio of patients living in urban areas (2.1:1) was higher than in rural areas (1.2:1). In urban areas, students (32 %) and homeworkers (28%) and, in rural areas, farmers (56 %) and students (17%) were the salient occupational categories. Acute life stressors were the main causes (73.8%) of suicide attempts. Only in some 6% of cases had a psychiatric illness been diagnosed before the suicide attempts. As a means of attempting suicide, intoxication with analgesics and antipyretics (e. g. paracetamol) with low medical lethality scores was a frequent method among the urban patients, the majority of whom (81%) consequently stayed in hospital less than 24 h. Pesticide and rat poison, more commonly (57.2%) used by attempters in rural areas, had higher medical lethality scores and also necessitated more prolonged hospital treatment.
Some suicide-preventive strategies used in the West for young people may be applicable in Vietnam. Reducing access to pesticides and rat poison is comparable to western efforts to make paracetamol or firearms less freely available. Skills in resolving family and other conflicts can be taught in schools according to WHO’s suicide-prevention resources for teachers.
Key wordsattempted suicide hospital records age gender causes methods psychiatric diagnoses prevention Vietnam
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.WHO World Health Report 2001 (2001) Geneva: WHOGoogle Scholar
- 2.Wasserman D (ed) (2001) Suicide: an Unnecessary Death. London: Martin DunitzGoogle Scholar
- 3.WHO World Report on Violence and Health (2002) Geneva: WHOGoogle Scholar
- 4.Ministry of Health (2000) Yearbook of Health Statistics. Hanoi: Medical Publishing House (in Vietnamese)Google Scholar
- 5.Adityanjee DR (1986) Suicide attempts and suicides in India: cross-cultural aspects. Int J Soc Psychiatry 32:64–73Google Scholar
- 6.Chiu LP (1989) Attempted suicide in Hong Kong. Acta Psychiatr Scand 79:425–430Google Scholar
- 7.Pan PC, Lieh-Mak F (1989) A comparison between male and female parasuicides in Hong Kong. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 24:253–257Google Scholar
- 9.Retterstøl N, Mehlum L (2001) Attempted suicide as a risk factor for suicide: treatment and flow-up. In:Wasserman D ed. Suicide: an Unnecessary Death. London: Martin Dunitz, pp 125–132Google Scholar
- 11.Hjelmeland H, Nordvik H, et al. (2000) A cross-cultural study of suicide intent in parasuicide patients. Suicide Life Threat Behav 30:295–303Google Scholar
- 16.WHO (2000) Department of Mental Health. Preventing suicide: a resource for teachers and other school staff. Geneva: WHOGoogle Scholar
- 17.Wasserman D, Narboni V (2001) Guidelines for suicide prevention in schools. National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention of Mental Ill-Health. Stockholm, pp 1–95Google Scholar
- 19.Pirkola S, Isometsa E, Heikkinen M, Lonnqvist J (1997) Employment status influences the weekly patterns of suicide among alcohol misusers. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 21:1704–1706Google Scholar
- 23.Leenaars A (2001) Controlling the environment to prevent suicide. In: Wasserman D (ed) Suicide: an Unnecessary Death. London: Martin Dunitz, pp 259–264Google Scholar
- 26.Nielsen AS, Bille-Brahe U, Hjelmeland H, Jensen B, Ostamo A, Salander-Renberg E, Wasserman D (1996) Alcohol problems among suicide attempters in the Nordic countries. Crisis 17:157–166Google Scholar
- 27.Wasserman D, Varnik A (1998) Suicide-preventive effects of perestroika in the former USSR: the role of alcohol restriction. Acta Psychiatr Scand 394(Suppl):1–4Google Scholar
- 29.Teoh J (1974) An analysis of completed suicide by psychological post-mortem. Ann Acad Med Singapore 3:117–123Google Scholar
- 30.de Silva HJ, Kasturiaratchi N, Seneviratne SL, et al. (2002) Suicide in Sri Lanka: points to ponder. Ceylon Med J 45:17–24Google Scholar
- 31.Eddleston M, Sheriff MH, Hawton K (1998) Deliberate self harm in Sri Lanka: an overlooked tragedy in the developing world. BMJ 317:133–135Google Scholar
- 32.Wasserman D (1989) Passive euthanasia in response to attempted suicide: one form of aggressiveness by relatives. Acta Psychiatr Scand 79:460–467Google Scholar
- 33.Daradkeh TK (1992) Parasuicide during Ramadan in Jordan. Acta Psychiatr Scand 86:253–254Google Scholar