Year: 2010 Source: BMC Psychiatry, v.10, article no.35, (2010), 8pp. SIEC No: 20100451

This cross-sectional study uses multiple cause-of-death data from the American National Center for Health Statistics to assess whether race/ethnicity, psychiatric comorbidity documentation, & other decedent characteristics were associated with differential potential for suicide misclassification. Subjects were 105,946 white, black, & Hispanic residents, age 15 & older, who died between 2003-2005 & whose deaths were classified as suicide or injury of undetermined intent. Blacks & Hispanics manifested excess potential suicide misclassification relative to whites. Decedents aged 35-54 & 75+ years showed diminished misclassification potential relative to decedents aged 15-34. Excess potential misclassification was also apparent for decedents without versus those with psychiatric comorbidity documented on their death certificates. Data disparities might explain much of the black-white suicide rate gap, if not the Hispanic-white gap. (48 refs.) JA