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Suicide in Greece 1980–1995: patterns and social factors

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A nationwide study of suicide in Greece from 1980 through 1995 demonstrated:

1. A mean age-standardized suicide rate of 5.86/100,000 for males and 1.89/100,000 for females.

2. An increase in suicide rates with age, especially in males.

3. Significant rising trends of male suicides in the 45–54 age group.

4. Significant declining trends of female suicides in age groups 15–24, 75–84, and total.

5. The lowest suicide rates among married men and women.

6. Exceptionally high rates in young widowed men.

7. Rural suicide rates were twice as high as urban rates.

8. Suicide methods were mostly violent, especially in males.

9. Hanging was the most common method, employed in approximately 50% of all suicides.

The low suicide rates and the trends observed can probably be attributed to a synthesis of social and cultural characteristics of the Greek people and ongoing changes in Greek lifestyle.

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Accepted: 10 February 1998

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Zacharakis, C., Madianos, M., Papadimitriou, G. et al. Suicide in Greece 1980–1995: patterns and social factors. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 33, 471–476 (1998).

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