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Patterns of Death Among Suicide Attempters, a Psychiatric Population, and a General Population

Patterns of Death Among Suicide Attempters, a Psychiatric Population, and a General Population Abstract • This epidemeological study examines patterns of mortality for a population of suicide attempters, a psychiatric population without suicide attempts, and a general population without psychiatric histories in order to clarify earlier reports of differential risks of death associated with these groups. Mortality patterns were investigated over an 11-year period in terms of demographic characteristics and rates of death by various causes. Suicidal deaths were given special attention to identify variables that may have predictive validity for suicide. The results indicate that the suicide attempter group represents a distinctive demographic and mortality entity from either the psychiatric or general populations, and accounts for much of the increased risk of death previously attributed to the psychiatric population. Further, premature deaths due to suicide are strongly associated with the suicide attempter group. The psychiatric and general populations differ in relatively insignificant ways. These results suggest that a profitable approach to the prevention of suicide would be to focus on individuals who were at high risk within the suicide attempter population. Longerterm follow-up of these individuals is necessary if deaths due to suicide are to be prevented. Difficulties associated with implementation of preventive follow-up programs are also discussed. References 1. Babigian H, Odoroff C: The mortality experience of a population with psychiatric illness . Am J Psychiatry 126:470-480, 1969. 2. Malzberg B: Further studies of mortality among patients with mental disease . Acta Med Scand 145( (suppl 277) ):215-230, 1953.Crossref 3. Sims A: Mortality in neurosis . Lancet 2:1072-1076, 1973.Crossref 4. Tuckman J, Youngman W, Kreizman G: Multiple suicide attempts . Comm Ment Health J 4:164-170, 1968.Crossref 5. Pederson A, Awad G, Kindler A: Epidemeological differences between white and nonwhite suicide attempters . Am J Psychiatry 130:1071-1076, 1973. 6. Weisman A, Worden J: Risk-rescue in suicide assessment . Arch Gen Psychiatry 26:553-560, 1972.Crossref 7. Pederson A, Tefft B, Babigian H: Risks of mortality of suicide attempters compared with psychiatric and general populations . Suicide 5:145-157, 1975. 8. Miles H, Gardner E, Bodian C, et al: A cumulative survey of all psychiatric experience in Monroe County, N.Y. Psychiatr Q 38:458-487, 1964.Crossref 9. Gardner E, Miles H, Iker H, et al: A cumulative register of psychiatric services in a community . Am J Public Health 53:1269-1277, 1963.Crossref 10. Diggory J: Calculation of some costs of suicide prevention using certain predictors of suicidal behavior . Psychol Bull 71:373-396, 1969.Crossref 11. Litman R: Experiences in a suicide prevention center , in Waldenstrom J, Larsson T, Ljungstedt N (eds): Suicide and Attempted Suicide . Stockholm, Nordiska Bokhandelus Forlag, 1972. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archives of General Psychiatry American Medical Association

Patterns of Death Among Suicide Attempters, a Psychiatric Population, and a General Population

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References (12)

Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1977 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0003-990X
eISSN
1598-3636
DOI
10.1001/archpsyc.1977.01770220037003
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract • This epidemeological study examines patterns of mortality for a population of suicide attempters, a psychiatric population without suicide attempts, and a general population without psychiatric histories in order to clarify earlier reports of differential risks of death associated with these groups. Mortality patterns were investigated over an 11-year period in terms of demographic characteristics and rates of death by various causes. Suicidal deaths were given special attention to identify variables that may have predictive validity for suicide. The results indicate that the suicide attempter group represents a distinctive demographic and mortality entity from either the psychiatric or general populations, and accounts for much of the increased risk of death previously attributed to the psychiatric population. Further, premature deaths due to suicide are strongly associated with the suicide attempter group. The psychiatric and general populations differ in relatively insignificant ways. These results suggest that a profitable approach to the prevention of suicide would be to focus on individuals who were at high risk within the suicide attempter population. Longerterm follow-up of these individuals is necessary if deaths due to suicide are to be prevented. Difficulties associated with implementation of preventive follow-up programs are also discussed. References 1. Babigian H, Odoroff C: The mortality experience of a population with psychiatric illness . Am J Psychiatry 126:470-480, 1969. 2. Malzberg B: Further studies of mortality among patients with mental disease . Acta Med Scand 145( (suppl 277) ):215-230, 1953.Crossref 3. Sims A: Mortality in neurosis . Lancet 2:1072-1076, 1973.Crossref 4. Tuckman J, Youngman W, Kreizman G: Multiple suicide attempts . Comm Ment Health J 4:164-170, 1968.Crossref 5. Pederson A, Awad G, Kindler A: Epidemeological differences between white and nonwhite suicide attempters . Am J Psychiatry 130:1071-1076, 1973. 6. Weisman A, Worden J: Risk-rescue in suicide assessment . Arch Gen Psychiatry 26:553-560, 1972.Crossref 7. Pederson A, Tefft B, Babigian H: Risks of mortality of suicide attempters compared with psychiatric and general populations . Suicide 5:145-157, 1975. 8. Miles H, Gardner E, Bodian C, et al: A cumulative survey of all psychiatric experience in Monroe County, N.Y. Psychiatr Q 38:458-487, 1964.Crossref 9. Gardner E, Miles H, Iker H, et al: A cumulative register of psychiatric services in a community . Am J Public Health 53:1269-1277, 1963.Crossref 10. Diggory J: Calculation of some costs of suicide prevention using certain predictors of suicidal behavior . Psychol Bull 71:373-396, 1969.Crossref 11. Litman R: Experiences in a suicide prevention center , in Waldenstrom J, Larsson T, Ljungstedt N (eds): Suicide and Attempted Suicide . Stockholm, Nordiska Bokhandelus Forlag, 1972.

Journal

Archives of General PsychiatryAmerican Medical Association

Published: Oct 1, 1977

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