Dynamic pattern of suicide in Australia, 1986-2005: a descriptive-analytic study.
Bottom Line: Male suicides were mainly completed by hanging, firearms, gases and self-poisoning.Female suicides were primarily completed by hanging and self-poisoning.Areas with a high proportion of indigenous population (eg, northwest of Queensland and top north of the Northern Territory) had shown a substantial increase in suicide incidence after 1995.
Affiliation: School of Public Health, Xi'an Jiaotong University Health Science Center, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China School of Public Health and Social Work, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Queensland, Australia.Show MeSH
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Mentions: Figure 1 shows time series trends by different groups. There was a peak in the suicide rate among the total population during the period 1996–1998, particularly in males aged from 15 to 34 years (Figure 1A), males in rural and remote areas (Figure 1B) and suicide committed by hanging (Figure 1C). In the early years of the study period, suicide incidence among those aged 55 years and over was higher than in those below 55 years; however, rates decreased over time and were lower than in those of young and middle-aged adults after 2000, particularly in males (Figure 1A). Suicide rates among those aged 15–34 years had peaks in 1997 and 1998 (especially for males peaking at approximately 34/100 000 and 21/100 000, respectively, for total suicide rates) and kept relatively steady in other years (25–28/100 000 for males and 14–17/100 000 for the total population; Figure 1A). In 1986, firearms and other explosives were the most common methods of suicide in Australia (over 6/100 000 among males). However, the rate dropped to around 2/100 000 in 2005. In contrast, male suicide rates by hanging rose from 3.8/100 000 in 1986 to 9.4/100 000 in 2005, after experiencing a peak of 10.6/100 000 in 1998 (Figure 1C). Suicide rates by hanging in males dropped after 1997 but were still higher than in the early years of the study period. Figure 2 used 5-year periods to explore method-specific suicide by age groups and urban–rural differences. Suicide rates by firearms decreased over the study period, especially among those aged 15–54 years and in rural and remote areas (figure 2A, B), while suicide by hanging increased dramatically and reached a peak during 1996–2000, especially among those aged 15–54 years (figure 2A). For those aged 55 years and older, suicide rates by hanging and firearms remained more stable than for those aged 54 years and younger over the study period. Suicide rates by gases and vapours, solid and liquid substances fluctuated over the study period among all population groups (figure 2A,B). Further detailed stratification of suicide incidence trends over time in each population group and suicide methods is presented in online supplementary materials 1 and 2. Poisson regression was implemented to examine the time series trend of suicide rates across population groups and by methods (table 2). Suicide rates by sex, age 55 years and over, urban residence, and suicide by firearms, solid and liquid substances decreased over time. However, suicide rates by hanging increased significantly. Table 3 indicated that male suicide rates by firearms kept decreasing across the whole study period, especially from the period 1991–1995 to the period 1996–2000.
Affiliation: School of Public Health, Xi'an Jiaotong University Health Science Center, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China School of Public Health and Social Work, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Queensland, Australia.