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The aim of the present study was to analyse demographic and clinical characteristics, as well as psychiatric diagnoses to identify gender differences in patients with attempted suicide in a Mexican population.
Between September 2010 and September 2012, 140 suicide attempts were documented in the Department of Psychiatry at the General Hospital of Comalcalco (Hospital General de Comalcalco in Spanish) in Tabasco, Mexico. Diagnoses were established using the DSM-IV questionnaire in which Axis I and II were considered. The Suicide Intent Scale was also applied.
In our sample, 63.6% were females and 36.4% males. With regard to socio-demographic characteristics, the predominant marital status in males was single, and in females married (χ2=5.93, df=2, p=0.05). In occupation the male group was mainly unemployed and housewife in females (χ2=55.51, df=4, p<0.001). Male subjects were more likely to consume alcohol (χ2=20.40, df=1, p≤0.001), cannabis (χ2=16.62, df=1, p≤0.001) or tobacco. The prevalence of psychiatric diagnosis was significantly different because, the male group was mainly diagnosed with substance-related disorders, whereas female participants showed a prevalence of stress-related disorders (χ2=34.17, gl=4, p=0.0001).
Our results provide evidence that the characteristics of suicide attempt are different by gender in the Mexican population. Interventions are necessary for the development of prevention strategies that may lead to a reduction in suicidal behaviour. These preventive activities should consider the occupation for the female group and consumption of alcohol, cannabis or tobacco in the male group.
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