Year: 2019 Source: Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior. (2019). 49(2), 455-465. The American Association of Suicidology. doi: 10.1111/sltb.12449 SIEC No: 20190334

Suicide is a public health concern with risks that vary between occupation groups. Many suicide victims with a health care occupation die by poisoning, but few studies have epidemiologically studied this association. The objective of this study was to quantify the increased risk of suicide death by poisoning among health care professionals in Colorado. Eleven years (2004–2014, N = 8,753) of suicide deaths in Colorado were compiled from the Colorado Violent Death Reporting System. A retrospective cohort study using multivariate logistic regression was conducted to examine the risk associated with having a health care occupation and eventual suicide death by poisoning, compared independently to firearm and hanging methods. Suicide victims with a health care occupation were more likely to die by poisoning rather than by hanging (RR 1.54, 95% CI: 1.41–1.68) or firearm (RR 1.79, 95% CI: 1.60–2.01), when compared to suicide victims without a health care occupation. The association between health care occupation and suicide method was significantly (p = .032) modified by gender. The results show that health care workers who die by suicide have an increased risk of eventual suicide death by poisoning rather than by firearm or hanging. These results can be used to inform tailored suicide prevention efforts in health care professionals.