Thursday, November 01, 2007

Suicidality in adolescence

Suicidality in adolescence and young adults is a well-recognised public-health problem and globally suicide is the fifth leading cause of death in young people taking between 100,000 and 200,000 lives a year. A study of 1,684 young adults in Canada examined whether they had ever had any thoughts about taking their life, their suicide attempts and their completed suicides. The researchers found that approximately 1 in 500 of the group killed themselves. About 33 % of the participants had thought about killing themselves and 9.3 % had made at least one suicide attempt. Over half of those who had attempted to kill themselves had made their first attempt before the age of eighteen. Women were more likely than men to make suicide attempts but men were four times more likely than women to succeed in killing themselves. Apart from gender other risk factors for suicide were disruptive behaviour, childhood anxiety, child abuse and suicidal thoughts.

Brezo, Juliana ... [et al] - Natural history of suicidal behaviors in a population-based sample of young adults Psychological Medicine November 2007, 37(11), 1563-1574

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