This retrospective study describes the epidemiology of attempted suicide among Asian (Bangladesh, India and Pakistan) immigrants in Birmingham during the period 1969–1972.
The hypothesis of no difference in the distribution of attempted suicide among native and immigrant groups was not upheld. The immigrant group was under-represented among all the admissions to Birmingham's hospitals. It is estimated that the crude adjusted rates for attempted suicide among the male and female Asian immigrants aged 15–64 years are 57 and 126 per 100,000 population per annum respectively. These are lower than the rates found among natives in Britain, but the female immigrant rate is higher than that found in India.
Asian patients who attempt suicide in India and Birmingham are younger than 45 years of age, rarely abuse drugs and alcohol, and make repeated attempts infrequently. In Birmingham, however, immigrants and native patients swallow similar, mostly psychotropic, tablets and not insecticides as in India. It is noteworthy that an interpersonal dispute precedes attempted suicide more frequently among immigrant patients than among native ones in either area.