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Epidemiology of Suicide and Associated Socio-Demographic Factors in Emergency Department Patients in 7 General Hospitals in Northwestern China

Cheng-jin Zhao, Xing-bo Dang, Xiao-li Su, Jia Bai, Long-yang Ma

Department of Emergency, Shaanxi Provincial People’s Hospital, Xi’an, Shaanxi, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:2743-2749

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.894819

Available online:

Published: 2015-09-15


BACKGROUND: This study aimed to illustrate the characteristics of suicide attempters treated in the Emergency Departments of 7 general hospitals in Xi’an and to provide relevant data for early psychological treatment.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Between October 2010 and September 2014, 155 suicide attempters were treated in the Emergency Departments. Data were collected using a semi-structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics, chi-square tests, and multivariate analyses were used to identify the factors associated with suicidal behaviors.
RESULTS: Females outnumbered males at a ratio of 3.7 to 1. The greatest proportion of cases was in the age group of 21 to 30 years (52.9%). Patients who finished middle school or high school accounted for most of the suicide attempters (50.3%). The most common method used for attempted suicide was drug ingestion (86.5%). The majority of cases attempted suicide at home (74.8%) during the night. Marriage frustration, work and study problems, family fanaticism and conflict, somatic disease, and history of mental disorders were all significantly associated with suicide attempts. The ratio of patients to be discharged or to die were similar in occupation, marital status, and the place of suicide attempt; however, the results were different in gender, age, educational level, methods used for suicide, time of day, and reason.
CONCLUSIONS: Suicide is an important public health problem and is multidimensional in nature. Future studies with larger samples are expected to provide more specific knowledge of the effect of each social factor on the suicide risk in Chinese in order to improve the prevention of suicides.

Keywords: Adult, Adolescent, China, Demography, Emergency Service, Hospital - statistics & numerical data, Hospitals, General, Multivariate Analysis, Sex Factors, Social Class, suicidal ideation, Suicide - statistics & numerical data, Suicide, Attempted - statistics & numerical data, Surveys and Questionnaires, Tertiary Prevention, young adult



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