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Identifying probable suicide clusters in wales using national mortality data.

Jones P, Gunnell D, Platt S, Scourfield J, Lloyd K, Huxley P, John A, Kamran B, Wells C, Dennis M - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: The analysis is based on official mortality statistics for Wales for 2000-2009 provided by the UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS).This cluster was smaller, shorter in duration, and predominantly later than the phenomenon that was reported in national and international print media.Further investigation of factors leading to the onset and termination of this series of deaths, in particular the role of the media, is required.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: College of Medicine, Institute of Life Sciences 2, Swansea University, Swansea, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT

Background: Up to 2% of suicides in young people may occur in clusters i.e., close together in time and space. In early 2008 unprecedented attention was given by national and international news media to a suspected suicide cluster among young people living in Bridgend, Wales. This paper investigates the strength of statistical evidence for this apparent cluster, its size, and temporal and geographical limits.

Methods and findings: The analysis is based on official mortality statistics for Wales for 2000-2009 provided by the UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS). Temporo-spatial analysis was performed using Space Time Permutation Scan Statistics with SaTScan v9.1 for suicide deaths aged 15 and over, with a sub-group analysis focussing on cases aged 15-34 years. These analyses were conducted for deaths coded by ONS as: (i) suicide or of undetermined intent (probable suicides) and (ii) for a combination of suicide, undetermined, and accidental poisoning and hanging (possible suicides). The temporo-spatial analysis did not identify any clusters of suicide or undetermined intent deaths (probable suicides). However, analysis of all deaths by suicide, undetermined intent, accidental poisoning and accidental hanging (possible suicides) identified a temporo-spatial cluster (p = 0.029) involving 10 deaths amongst 15-34 year olds centred on the County Borough of Bridgend for the period 27(th) December 2007 to 19(th) February 2008. Less than 1% of possible suicides in younger people in Wales in the ten year period were identified as being cluster-related.

Conclusions: There was a possible suicide cluster in young people in Bridgend between December 2007 and February 2008. This cluster was smaller, shorter in duration, and predominantly later than the phenomenon that was reported in national and international print media. Further investigation of factors leading to the onset and termination of this series of deaths, in particular the role of the media, is required.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Mortality statistics for the County Borough of Bridgend by cause of death group (rate per 100,000 population).The rate of death by cause across time for the County Borough of Bridgend (Figure 3a) was considerably more varied than the rate of death by cause across Wales, as might be expected considering the relatively small population of Bridgend. In the all-age rates (figure 3a) there was an indication of a peak in accidental deaths by hanging and poisoning in 2008 and some evidence that 15–34 year olds contributed disproportionately to this excess (figure 3b). In 15–34 year olds, possible suicides peaked in 2008 (figure 3b) with a second smaller peak in 2003.
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pone-0071713-g003: Mortality statistics for the County Borough of Bridgend by cause of death group (rate per 100,000 population).The rate of death by cause across time for the County Borough of Bridgend (Figure 3a) was considerably more varied than the rate of death by cause across Wales, as might be expected considering the relatively small population of Bridgend. In the all-age rates (figure 3a) there was an indication of a peak in accidental deaths by hanging and poisoning in 2008 and some evidence that 15–34 year olds contributed disproportionately to this excess (figure 3b). In 15–34 year olds, possible suicides peaked in 2008 (figure 3b) with a second smaller peak in 2003.

Mentions: The rate of death by cause across time for the County Borough of Bridgend (Figure 3a) was considerably more varied than the rate of death by cause across Wales, as might be expected considering the relatively small population of Bridgend which varied from 128,224 in 2000 to 134,197 in 2009. The number of possible suicides in Bridgend ranged from 13 to 25 per year for all ages and 5 to 17 per year in 15–34 year olds. In the all-age rates (figure 3a) there was an indication of a peak in accidental deaths by hanging and poisoning in 2008 and some evidence that 15–34 year olds contributed disproportionately to this excess (figure 3b). In 15–34 year olds, possible suicides peaked in 2008 (figure 3b−17 deaths) with a second smallerpeak of 13 deaths in 2003.


Identifying probable suicide clusters in wales using national mortality data.

Jones P, Gunnell D, Platt S, Scourfield J, Lloyd K, Huxley P, John A, Kamran B, Wells C, Dennis M - PLoS ONE (2013)

Mortality statistics for the County Borough of Bridgend by cause of death group (rate per 100,000 population).The rate of death by cause across time for the County Borough of Bridgend (Figure 3a) was considerably more varied than the rate of death by cause across Wales, as might be expected considering the relatively small population of Bridgend. In the all-age rates (figure 3a) there was an indication of a peak in accidental deaths by hanging and poisoning in 2008 and some evidence that 15–34 year olds contributed disproportionately to this excess (figure 3b). In 15–34 year olds, possible suicides peaked in 2008 (figure 3b) with a second smaller peak in 2003.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3756004&req=5

pone-0071713-g003: Mortality statistics for the County Borough of Bridgend by cause of death group (rate per 100,000 population).The rate of death by cause across time for the County Borough of Bridgend (Figure 3a) was considerably more varied than the rate of death by cause across Wales, as might be expected considering the relatively small population of Bridgend. In the all-age rates (figure 3a) there was an indication of a peak in accidental deaths by hanging and poisoning in 2008 and some evidence that 15–34 year olds contributed disproportionately to this excess (figure 3b). In 15–34 year olds, possible suicides peaked in 2008 (figure 3b) with a second smaller peak in 2003.
Mentions: The rate of death by cause across time for the County Borough of Bridgend (Figure 3a) was considerably more varied than the rate of death by cause across Wales, as might be expected considering the relatively small population of Bridgend which varied from 128,224 in 2000 to 134,197 in 2009. The number of possible suicides in Bridgend ranged from 13 to 25 per year for all ages and 5 to 17 per year in 15–34 year olds. In the all-age rates (figure 3a) there was an indication of a peak in accidental deaths by hanging and poisoning in 2008 and some evidence that 15–34 year olds contributed disproportionately to this excess (figure 3b). In 15–34 year olds, possible suicides peaked in 2008 (figure 3b−17 deaths) with a second smallerpeak of 13 deaths in 2003.

Bottom Line: The analysis is based on official mortality statistics for Wales for 2000-2009 provided by the UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS).This cluster was smaller, shorter in duration, and predominantly later than the phenomenon that was reported in national and international print media.Further investigation of factors leading to the onset and termination of this series of deaths, in particular the role of the media, is required.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: College of Medicine, Institute of Life Sciences 2, Swansea University, Swansea, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT

Background: Up to 2% of suicides in young people may occur in clusters i.e., close together in time and space. In early 2008 unprecedented attention was given by national and international news media to a suspected suicide cluster among young people living in Bridgend, Wales. This paper investigates the strength of statistical evidence for this apparent cluster, its size, and temporal and geographical limits.

Methods and findings: The analysis is based on official mortality statistics for Wales for 2000-2009 provided by the UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS). Temporo-spatial analysis was performed using Space Time Permutation Scan Statistics with SaTScan v9.1 for suicide deaths aged 15 and over, with a sub-group analysis focussing on cases aged 15-34 years. These analyses were conducted for deaths coded by ONS as: (i) suicide or of undetermined intent (probable suicides) and (ii) for a combination of suicide, undetermined, and accidental poisoning and hanging (possible suicides). The temporo-spatial analysis did not identify any clusters of suicide or undetermined intent deaths (probable suicides). However, analysis of all deaths by suicide, undetermined intent, accidental poisoning and accidental hanging (possible suicides) identified a temporo-spatial cluster (p = 0.029) involving 10 deaths amongst 15-34 year olds centred on the County Borough of Bridgend for the period 27(th) December 2007 to 19(th) February 2008. Less than 1% of possible suicides in younger people in Wales in the ten year period were identified as being cluster-related.

Conclusions: There was a possible suicide cluster in young people in Bridgend between December 2007 and February 2008. This cluster was smaller, shorter in duration, and predominantly later than the phenomenon that was reported in national and international print media. Further investigation of factors leading to the onset and termination of this series of deaths, in particular the role of the media, is required.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus