Evaluation of the quality of cause of death statistics in rural China using verbal autopsies.

Death registration systems in rural China are in a developmental stage. The Disease Surveillance Points (DSP) system provides the only nationally representative information on causes of death. In this system, there are no standard procedures or instruments for ascertaining causes of death; hence available statistics require careful evaluation before use. Contact us for a copy[…]

National Suicide Rates a Century After Durkheim: do we Know Enough to Estimate Error?

Durkheim’s nineteenth-century analysis of national suicide rates dismissed prior concerns about mortality data fidelity. Over the intervening century, evidence documenting various types of error in suicide data has only mounted & surprising levels of such error continue to be routinely uncovered. Yet the annual suicide rate remains the most widely used population-level suicide metric troday.[…]

‘Hidden’ Suicides Amongst Deaths Certified as Undetermined Intent, Accident by Pesticide Poisoning and Accident by Suffocation in Taiwan

This study sought to identify cause-of-death categories in which suicides might be misclassified in Taiwan. Secular trends, 1971-2007, were plotted in gender- & method-specific rates of death classified as suicide, undetermined intent, & accident for the Taiwanese population aged 15 years & older & compared the gender, age, & marital status profiles in these 3[…]

Police Suicide: why are the Rates in Some Places so low? (In: Suicide and Law Enforcement, edited by D C Sheehan & J I Warren)

The published literature on police suicide contains serious measurement problems that undermine understanding, including: unreliability of small samples, lack of statistical significance testing, comparison of different time periods, use of different data sources, use of different summary measures, comparison to inappropriate norms, & misclassification of suicides as accidents. The authors suggest solutions for these problem[…]

Police Suicide and Small Departments: a Survey (In: Suicide and Law Enforcement, edited by D C Sheehan & J I Warren)

The study presented in this chapter reviewed data from 89 sheriff & police departments in Illinois, Indiana, & Minnesota. Six questions arising from the results of the data were discussed. Nine suicides were reported in the 89 departments, representing 3,736 officers from 1980-1998. There was a 0.0004% yearly average difference between the police suicides &[…]

Death by Their own Hands: Have we Failed to Protect our Protectors? (In: Suicide and Law Enforcement, edited by D C Sheehan & J I Warren)

Twice as many peace officers reportedly die by suicide as are killed in the line of duty. Has suicide among law enforcement become an epidemic? If so, what is the cause? More important, what is the cure? Many obstacles interfere with research on law enforcement suicide, including the natural reticence of families & law enforcement[…]

Using Civil law Occupational Death Procedures in Police Suicide Reporting (In: Suicide and Law Enforcement, edited by D C Sheehan & J I Warren)

Both state & federal civil law require mandatory procedures in the event of occupational death. Any deviation from these procedures can result in civil monetary penalties & criminal charges. Statutory law & recent case law provide the legal foundation for development of mandatory police suicide reporting procedures. Using the occupational death reporting procedures outlined by[…]


In this editorial, the author provides a general discussion of factors contributing to suicide rates around the world. There is also a brief discussion of prevention strategies. (32 refs.)

Suicide Deaths Concentrated in Beijing Universities

In this letter to the editor, the authors discuss suicide among students at Beijing University. Earlier in 2007, five suicides happened within a period of 8 days – the deaths coincided with official statements from the Ministry of Education on the relatively low rate of suicide among Chinese university students. The effect of the one-child[…]

Measuring an Aspect of the Distribution of Mental Health: Suicide in Australia 1907-2003 Working Paper Series WP2006.9

The authors argue from welfare economics there is a legitimate economic justification for governments to be concerned with suicide. However, the purpose of this paper is to show the usefulness of employing an alternative measure of suicide – potential years of life lost – rather than a count of the number of suicides. It is[…]