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Cross-national prevalence and risk factors for suicidal ideation, plans and attempts

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Matthew K. Nock
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA
Guilherme Borges
Affiliation:
Department of Epidemiology, National Institute of Psychiatry and Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Mexico City, Mexico
Evelyn J. Bromet
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, State University of New York, Stony Brook, USA
Jordi Alonso
Affiliation:
Health Services Research Unit, Institut Municipal d'Investigacio Medica IMIM, Barcelona, Spain
Matthias Angermeyer
Affiliation:
University of Leipzig, Department of Psychiatry, Leipzig, Germany
Annette Beautrais
Affiliation:
Christchurch School of Medicine & Health Sciences, New Zealand
Ronny Bruffaerts
Affiliation:
Department of Neurosciences and Psychiatry, University Hospitals, Gasthuisberg, Belgium
Wai Tat Chiu
Affiliation:
Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Giovanni de Girolamo
Affiliation:
Department of Mental Health, AUSL di Bologna, Bologna, Italy
Semyon Gluzman
Affiliation:
Ukrainian Psychiatric Association, Kyiv, Ukraine
Ron de Graaf
Affiliation:
Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Oye Gureje
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
Josep Maria Haro
Affiliation:
Sant Joan de Deu-SSM, Barcelona, Spain
Yueqin Huang
Affiliation:
Institute of Mental Health, Peking University, People's Republic of China
Elie Karam
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, St George Hospital University Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon
Ronald C. Kessler
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA
Jean Pierre Lepine
Affiliation:
Hospital Fernand Widal, Paris, France
Daphna Levinson
Affiliation:
Research and Planning, Mental Health Services, Ministry of Health, Jerusalem, Israel
Maria Elena Medina-Mora
Affiliation:
Department of Epidemiology, National Institute of Psychiatry and Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Mexico City, Mexico
Yutaka Ono
Affiliation:
Keio University, Tokyo, Japan
José Posada-Villa
Affiliation:
Colegio Mayor de Cundinamarca University, Saldarriaga Concha Foundation, Bogota, Colombia
David Williams
Affiliation:
Harvard University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Corresponding
E-mail address:
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Abstract

Background

Suicide is a leading cause of death worldwide; however, the prevalence and risk factors for the immediate precursors to suicide – suicidal ideation, plans and attempts – are not well-known, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

Aims

To report on the prevalence and risk factors for suicidal behaviours across 17 countries.

Method

A total of 84 850 adults were interviewed regarding suicidal behaviours and socio-demographic and psychiatric risk factors.

Results

The cross-national lifetime prevalence of suicidal ideation, plans, and attempts is 9.2% (s.e.=0.1), 3.1% (s.e.=0.1), and 2.7% (s.e.=0.1). Across all countries, 60% of transitions from ideation to plan and attempt occur within the first year after ideation onset. Consistent cross-national risk factors included being female, younger, less educated, unmarried and having a mental disorder. Interestingly, the strongest diagnostic risk factors were mood disorders in high-income countries but impulse control disorders in low- and middle-income countries.

Conclusion

There is cross-national variability in the prevalence of suicidal behaviours, but strong consistency in the characteristics and risk factors for these behaviours. These findings have significant implications for the prediction and prevention of suicidal behaviours.

Type
Papers
Copyright
Copyright © Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2008 

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