Year: 2001 Source: International Journal of Epidemiology, v.30, no.1, (February 2001), p.154-162 SIEC No: 20011013

Of 304 publications identified in Index Medicus (1966-June 1988), 24 reported total & cause-specific mortality associated with exposure to 16 established suicide risk factors. Reference scanning yielded 122 more. These 146 publications reported on 163 cohorts mortality. Overall, standardized mortality ratios were 8.6 for suicide, 3.4, for accidental, & 2.1 for natural death. Excesses increased from lowest from natural death to highest for suicide. This trend was most pronounced following deliberate self-harm. Many suicide risks apply to any type of premature death, while also retaining some specificity for suicide. Primary prevention, targeting such generic risk factors will not only reduce suicide rates but also of other types of deaths. Conversely, when prevention focuses on specific outcomes only, such as suicide, other types of mortality may increase. (188 refs.)