Age-period-cohort analysis of suicide rates in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1979–1998




Recent studies in Brazil have demonstrated that suicide rates have been rising over the last years. The objective of this study was to investigate trends in suicide from 1979 to 1998 in Rio de Janeiro State, with emphasis on age, period, and cohort effects.


Age-specific suicide rates from 1979 to 1998 were estimated for males and females based on mortality data obtained from the Brazilian Mortality Information System, and population counts from the 1980, 1991 and 2000 censuses. Poisson regression and graphical methods were used to evaluate age, period and cohort effects.


Suicide rates increased steadily with age, particularly among males. In both males and females, age-adjusted suicide rates decreased until 1992. In 1993, rates started to rise. Cohort effects showed that younger generations had significantly lower rates of suicide than older ones.


The recent rise in suicide rates might be a result of the increasing levels of firearm availability, drug use, and unemployment. Follow-up over longer periods and powerful epidemiological studies are needed to sustain the implication of socio-economic changes in the observed features.

Key words

suicide age factors cohort effect periodicity epidemiology 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Monk M (1987) Epidemiology of suicide. Epidemiol Rev 9:51–69Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rosenberg ML, Smith JC, Dadidson LE, Conn JM (1987) The emergence of youth suicide: an epidemiologic analysis and public health perspective. Annu Rev Public Health 8:417–440Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bell CC, Clark,DC (1998) Adolescent suicide. Pediatr Clin North Am 45:365–380Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Crawford MJ, Prince M (1999) Increasing rates of suicide in young men in England during the 1980s: the importance of social context. Soc Sci Med 49:1419–1423Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    WHO, World Health Organization (2001) World health report, 2001. Mental health: new understanding, new hope. WHO, Geneva, pp 19–45Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Souza ER, Minayo MCS, Malaquias JV (2002) Suicide among young people in selected Brazilian State capitals. Cad Saude Publica 18:673–683Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    WHO, World Health Organization (2002) World report on violence and health. WHO, Geneva, pp 183–212Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    NHMRC, National Health and Medical Research Council (1999) National Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy—Setting the evidence-based research agenda for Australia (A literature review). Department of Health and Aged Care, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, p 397Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Almeida-Filho N, Mari Jde J, Coutinho E, Franca JF, Fernandes J, Andreoli SB, Busnello ED (1997) Brazilian multicentric study of psychiatric morbidity: methodological features and prevalence estimates. Br J Psychiatry 171:524–529Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gadelha AJ, Leite IC, Schramm JMA, Campos MR, Valente JG, Portela MC (2003) Estimativa da carga de doença do Brasil—1998. Ciênc. saúde coletiva 8(Suppl 2):121Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Newman SM, Dyck RJ (1988) On the age-period-cohort analysis of suicide rates. Psychol Med 18:677–681Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Granizo JJ, Guallar E, Rodriguez-Artalejo F (1996) Age-period-cohort analysis of suicide mortality rates in Spain,1959–1991. Int J Epidemiol 25:814–820Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    La Vecchia C, Bollini P, Imazio C, Decarli A (1986) Age, period of death and birth cohort effects on suicide mortality in Italy, 1955–1979. Acta Psychiatr Scand 74:137–143Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Woodbury MA, Manton KG, Blazer D (1988) Trends in US suicide mortality rates 1968 to 1982: race and sex differences in age, period and cohort components. Int J Epidemiol 17:356–362Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kalediene R (1999) Time trends in suicide mortality in Lithuania. Acta Psychiatr Scand 99:419–422Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Stack S (2000) Work and the economy. In: Maris RW, Berman AL, Silverman MM (eds) Comprehensive textbook of suicidology. Guilford Press, New York, pp 193–221Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Shryock HS, Siegel JS (1976) The methods and materials of demography. Academic Press, San Diego, p 443Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Cassorla RMS, Smeke ELM (1994) Autodestruição humana. Cad Saude Publica 10:S61–S73Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Stang AS, Jöckel K-H (2003) Changing patterns of skin melanoma mortality in West Germany from 1968 through 1999. Ann Epidemiol 13:436–442Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    McNally RJQ, Alexander FE, Staines A, Cartwright RA (1997) A comparison of three methods of analysis for age-period-cohort models with application to incidence data on Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Int J Epidemiol 26:32–46Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Murphy E, Lindesay J, Grundy E (1986) 60 years of suicide in England and Wales. A cohort study. Arch Gen Psychiatry 43:969–976Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Fergusson DM, Woodward LJ, Horwood LJ (2000) Risk factors and life processes associated with the onset of suicidal behaviour during adolescence and early adulthood. Psychol Med 30:23–39Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ramos L, Britto M (2004) O funcionamento do mercado de trabalho metropolitano brasileiro no período 1991–2002: tendências, fatos estilizados e mudanças estruturais. Texto para discussão n° 1011. IPEA, Rio de Janeiro, pp 1–24Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Dowdney L (2002) Child combatants in organised armed violence: a study of children and adolescents involved in territorial drug faction disputes in Rio de Janeiro. ISER/Viva Rio, Rio de Janeiro, pp 1–180Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Dreyfus P, Dias CIP, Lessing B, Godnick W (2003) Small arms control in Mercosur. Latin America series no 3 (English version). International Alert/Viva Rio, UK, pp 26–37Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    WHO, World Health Organization (2003) Global illicit drug trends, 2003. United Nations, New York, pp 101–161Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nádia C. P. Rodrigues
    • 1
  • Guilherme L. Werneck
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Public Health StudiesFederal University of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Dept. of Epidemiology, Social Medicine InstituteState University of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  3. 3.Instituto de Medicina Social/IMS, Departamento de EpidemiologiaUniversidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ)Maracanã—Rio de Janeiro (RJ)Brazil

Personalised recommendations