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Clinical samples have identified a number of psychosocial risk factors
for suicidal acts but it is unclear if these findings relate to the
To describe the prevalence of and psychosocial risk factors for suicidal
acts in a general adult population.
Data were obtained from a Canadian epidemiological survey of 36 984
respondents aged 15 years and older (weighted sample
n=23 662 430).
Of these respondents, 0.6% (weighted n=130 143) endorsed
a 12-month suicidal act. Female gender (OR=4.27, 95% CI 4.05–4.50), being
separated (OR=37.88, 95% CI 33.92–42.31) or divorced (OR=7.79, 95% CI
7.22–8.41), being unemployed (OR=1.70, 95% CI 1.50–1.80), experiencing a
chronic physical health condition (OR=1.70, 95% CI 1.67–1.86) and
experiencing a major depressive episode in the same 12-month period as
the act (OR=9.10, 95% CI 8.65–9.59) were significantly associated with a
The psychosocial correlates of suicidal acts in this sample are
consistent with those previously reported in clinical and general
population samples. These findings reinforce the importance of the
determination of suicide risk and its prevention not only of psychiatric
illness but of physical and psychosocial factors as well.
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