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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

Temporo-spatial clusters of possible suicides (suicide, undetermined, and accidental poisoning and hanging) for people 15–34 years.The temporo-spatial analysis identified several possible clusters across Wales for age group 15 to 34 years. Three of the clusters were centred on the county borough of Bridgend, but only cluster number one was statistically significant (p = 0.029).
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pone-0071713-g004: Temporo-spatial clusters of possible suicides (suicide, undetermined, and accidental poisoning and hanging) for people 15–34 years.The temporo-spatial analysis identified several possible clusters across Wales for age group 15 to 34 years. Three of the clusters were centred on the county borough of Bridgend, but only cluster number one was statistically significant (p = 0.029).

Mentions: When analysing deaths aged 15 and over, or when examining younger people only (aged 15–34 years), there was no statistical evidence of temporo-spatial clusters representing probable suicide (suicide and undetermined) in Wales during the period 2000–2009– the lowest p value being 0.48. When deaths from accidental poisoning and hanging were included (i.e. possible suicide; Figure 4), statistical evidence for a cluster was identified in the sub-set of data for people aged 15–34 year (p = 0.029) (see insert, Figure 4). This cluster centred on the County Borough of Bridgend but extended into the neighbouring County of Neath Port Talbot for the period 27/12/2007 to 19/2/2008. It contained 10 of the 28 suicides in 15–34 year olds in Wales during that time period. Other clusters of possible suicides in people aged 15–34 are displayed in Figure 4, but statistical evidence for these was weak (p>0.13). Two of these (clusters 2 and 5) occurred at similar time periods to the primary cluster and included cases from the primary cluster, but either related to a larger geographical area or were of longer duration (Figure 5). Combining the primary and secondary cases in this area for the period 27th December 2007 to 19th February 2008 extends the size of the cluster to a possible 15 cases.


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)

Temporo-spatial clusters of possible suicides (suicide, undetermined, and accidental poisoning and hanging) for people 15–34 years.The temporo-spatial analysis identified several possible clusters across Wales for age group 15 to 34 years. Three of the clusters were centred on the county borough of Bridgend, but only cluster number one was statistically significant (p = 0.029).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone-0071713-g004: Temporo-spatial clusters of possible suicides (suicide, undetermined, and accidental poisoning and hanging) for people 15–34 years.The temporo-spatial analysis identified several possible clusters across Wales for age group 15 to 34 years. Three of the clusters were centred on the county borough of Bridgend, but only cluster number one was statistically significant (p = 0.029).
Mentions: When analysing deaths aged 15 and over, or when examining younger people only (aged 15–34 years), there was no statistical evidence of temporo-spatial clusters representing probable suicide (suicide and undetermined) in Wales during the period 2000–2009– the lowest p value being 0.48. When deaths from accidental poisoning and hanging were included (i.e. possible suicide; Figure 4), statistical evidence for a cluster was identified in the sub-set of data for people aged 15–34 year (p = 0.029) (see insert, Figure 4). This cluster centred on the County Borough of Bridgend but extended into the neighbouring County of Neath Port Talbot for the period 27/12/2007 to 19/2/2008. It contained 10 of the 28 suicides in 15–34 year olds in Wales during that time period. Other clusters of possible suicides in people aged 15–34 are displayed in Figure 4, but statistical evidence for these was weak (p>0.13). Two of these (clusters 2 and 5) occurred at similar time periods to the primary cluster and included cases from the primary cluster, but either related to a larger geographical area or were of longer duration (Figure 5). Combining the primary and secondary cases in this area for the period 27th December 2007 to 19th February 2008 extends the size of the cluster to a possible 15 cases.

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