Despite the many studies trying to evaluate the magnitude of suicide in Chile, none of them include the new valid data, recently published by the DEIS of the Chilean Health Ministry. AIM: This paper sought to describe how suicide rates changed among Chileans who were at least 15 years of age during the period of 2001-2010; these rates were stratified by sex, age, urban/rural status, and region of the country. METHOD: An exploratory and temporal study was conducted. Suicide mortality rates were calculated by collecting information from the Chilean Ministry of Health’s death registry between 2001 and 2010 among subjects who were at least 15 years of age. Crude and age-adjusted mortality rates were computed. RESULTS: The standardized suicide rate in Chile during 2001-2010 was 14.7 deaths per 100,000, the highest in South America. The minimum age-adjusted suicide rate observed during the examined period was 13.49 per 100,000 in 2005, and the maximum, 16.67 per 100,000 in 2008. Suicide rates among men were up to 4.8 times the suicide rates among women. In addition, rates in rural areas were double compared with urban areas. Hanging was the most common suicide method, followed by use of firearms and explosives in men and poisoning in women. Finally, there was a progressive increase in suicide rates in the southernmost regions of the country. CONCLUSION: Suicide rates in Chile are relatively high among male subjects in rural areas. There is a disturbing increase in suicide rates among younger individuals and women, although these rates remain lower among younger individuals and women than among adults in general.
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