Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 46, Issue 9, pp 805–811 | Cite as

Non-fatal suicidal behaviour in Padua, Italy, in two different periods: 1992–1996 and 2002–2006

  • K. Kõlves
  • T. Vecchiato
  • M. Pivetti
  • G. Barbero
  • A. Cimitan
  • F. Tosato
  • Diego De LeoEmail author
Original Paper



The WHO/EURO multicentre study on suicidal behaviour showed the lowest rates of suicide attempts in the Italian centre of Padua. Present study aims to discover changes in non-fatal suicidal behaviour rates and characteristics by comparing hospital-admitted subjects in two study periods (1992–1996 and 2002–2006).


Data were obtained from the University Hospital of Padua. The crude prevalence rates of events and persons by year per 100,000 (subjects aged 15+ years) were calculated. Rate ratios, Chi-square tests and t tests were calculated.


The mean prevalence rate per year showed a significant increase during the second study period from 59.2 to 93.6 per 100,000 (RR = 1.58, 95%CI = 1.24–2.02). Changes were significant for both genders, but the increase was stronger in males. The proportion of subjects with non-fatal suicidal behaviour was highest in the youngest age group (15–29 years) in the first period and in adults (30–44 years) in the second period. The absolute number of subjects with non-fatal suicidal behaviour increased more than two times for adults aged 30–44 years. Changes in other age groups were minor. The absolute numbers of non-Italian-born subjects with non-fatal suicidal behaviour increased from 11 to 135 persons. The proportion of poisoning was significantly lower in the second period.


When comparing the time periods 1992–1996 and 2002–2006, there was a significant increase in suicidal events in Padua. There have been remarkable changes in the characteristics of suicide attempt(er)s. The most remarkable change was in the number of non-Italian-born subjects, who should be specifically targeted by suicide prevention activities.


Suicide attempt Gender Immigrants Italy 



We are indebted with the Direction of the ULSS 16, which has made data available.

Conflict of interest statement



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Kõlves
    • 1
  • T. Vecchiato
    • 2
  • M. Pivetti
    • 2
  • G. Barbero
    • 2
  • A. Cimitan
    • 2
  • F. Tosato
    • 3
  • Diego De Leo
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Suicide PreventionGriffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Fondazione E. ZancanPaduaItaly
  3. 3.Emergency DepartmentPadua University HospitalPaduaItaly

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