Suicides and other sudden violent deaths are the most common causes of death among young people worldwide. This case–control study compared risk factors for suicide and other sudden violent death among young people.
A total of 436 psychological autopsy interviews with next of kin were performed. The samples aged 10–25 years included 63 cases of suicide, 62 cases of other sudden violent death, and 104 matched living controls. Two stepwise multiple logistic regression analyses were performed.
The number of recent stressful life events was the only common risk factor for suicide and other sudden violent death. Specific risk factors for suicide were any form of addiction and being an inpatient in adult psychiatric care. Specific risk factors for other sudden violent death were lower elementary school results, lower educational level, and abuse of psychoactive drugs.
The suicide group seems to have been more vulnerable and exposed to different kinds of stressors, whereas the sudden violent death group seems to have been more acting out and risk-taking. Both groups must be the subject of prevention and intervention programs.