Year: 2023 Source: PLoS ONE. (2023). 18(4), e0284224. 10.1371/journal.pone.0284224 SIEC No: 20230919
Suicide is a complex and multi-determined phenomenon. Higher rates are observed in men and are related to multiple risk factors, including mental disorders, financial crises, unemployment, and easy access to highly lethal means of perpetration, such as firearms. We studied the effects of age, period, and cohort (APC) on total and firearm-related suicides in men in Brazil and its major regions from 1980 to 2019. Death records were extracted from the Brazilian Ministry of Health’s Mortality Information System. Estimable functions were used to estimate APC models, through the Epi library of the R statistical program, version 4.2.1. During the study period, Brazil had an average rate of 10.22 deaths per 100,000 men. Among regions, rates ranged from 8.62 (Northeast) to 16.93 (South). The same profile was observed in suicides by firearms. After estimating the APC models, we observed a temporal trend of increasing total suicides for Brazil and regions, except for the South region, where the trend was stationary. The trend was downward for firearm suicides for all locations. A positive gradient was observed in the mortality rate with advancing age for total suicides; and peak incidence between 20–29 years, with subsequent stabilization, for suicides perpetrated by firearms. There was a reduction in the risk of death for suicides perpetrated by firearms in relation to the reference period (1995–1999) for all locations, except in the North region, where the effect was not significant. The younger generations from the 1960s onwards had a higher risk of death from total suicide and a lower risk for those perpetrated by firearms in relation to the reference cohort (1950–1954). We observed a reduction in the mortality trend for suicides perpetrated by firearms, a reduction in the risk of death in the 2000s and for men born after 1960. Our results suggest reducing the risk of death from suicide by firearms in Brazil and regions. However, there is an upward trend in mortality from total suicides in the study period (1980–2019) and for younger cohorts.