Suicide rates in young men in England and Wales in the 21st century: time trend study

L Biddle, A Brock, S Brookes, DJ Gunnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives. To explore trends in suicide in young people to investigate the recent observation that after year on year rises in the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s, rates in young men are now declining. Design. Time trend analysis. Setting. England and Wales, 1968-2005. Population. Men and women aged 15-34 years. Results. Since the 1990s, rates of suicide in young men have declined steadily and by 2005 they were at their lowest level for almost 30 years. This decline is partly because of a reduction in poisoning with car exhaust gas as an increased number of cars have catalytic converters; but there have been declines in suicides from all common methods, including hanging, suggesting a more pervasive effect. Other risk factors for suicide, such as unemployment and divorce, have also decreased. Possible recent reductions in alcohol use among young men and increases in prescribing of antidepressants do not seem to be temporally related to the decline in suicide. Conclusions. Suicide rates in young men have declined markedly in the past 10 years in England and Wales. Reductions in key risk factors for suicide, such as unemployment, might be contributing to lower rates.
Translated title of the contributionSuicide rates in young men in England and Wales in the 21st century: time trend study
Original languageEnglish
Article number539
Number of pages5
JournalBMJ
Volume336
Issue number7643
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2008

Bibliographical note

Publisher: BMJ Group

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