Wiener klinische Wochenschrift

, Volume 117, Issue 1–2, pp 31–35 | Cite as

Epidemiology of suicide in Austria 1990–2000

General decrease, but increased suicide risk for old men
  • Elmar Etzersdorfer
  • Martin Voracek
  • Nestor Kapusta
  • Gernot Sonneck
Original Article

Summary

OBJECTIVES AND METHODS: The epidemiology of suicide in Austria, 1990–2000, was investigated. RESULTS: In comparison with 1980–1990, an overall decrease in the incidence of suicide was found. The annual averages for male, female, and total suicide rates were 32.2, 11.0, and 21.3, respectively, representing decreases of 17.6%, 25.7%, and 19.3%. Decreases were observed in all age groups except for males aged 80–84 years, where the suicide rate was 123.5 (15.1% increase), and for males aged 85 years or over, where the rate was 148.9 (25.4% increase). Hanging is still the most frequently used suicide method in Austria, despite steady decreases during recent decades. During the 1990s, hanging was used in 47.5% of male suicides and 34.8% of female cases. Shooting is the next most common method for male suicides (23.5% of cases) and has become more frequent for both sexes. CONCLUSIONS: The main findings reveal that the decrease in suicide incidence in Austria is greater for females than for males, reflecting the increased suicide risk within the oldest male age groups. This population subgroup should thus be a particular target for suicide-prevention efforts in Austria. A further aim within a national strategy for suicide prevention should be to stop the increased use of shooting as a suicide method.

Keywords

Austria Epidemiology Suicide Suicide prevention 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elmar Etzersdorfer
    • 1
  • Martin Voracek
    • 2
  • Nestor Kapusta
    • 3
  • Gernot Sonneck
    • 3
  1. 1.Furtbach Hospital for Psychiatry and PsychotherapyStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.School of Psychology University of ViennaViennaAustria
  3. 3.Department of Medical PsychologyMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria

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