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Gender differences in risk factors for suicide in Denmark

  • Ping Qin (a1), Esben Agerbo (a1), Niels Westergård-Nielsen (a2), Tor Eriksson (a2) and Preben Bo Mortensen (a1)...

Abstract

Background

Gender is one of the most frequently replicated predictors for suicide.

Aims

To identify risk factors for suicide among males and females and to investigate whether risk factors for suicide differ by gender.

Method

A time-matched nested case–control design was performed using Danish longitudinal register databases to obtain 811 suicide cases and 79 871 controls. Data were analysed using conditional logistic regression.

Results

A history of hospitalised mental illness was the most marked risk factor for suicide for both genders. Unemployment, retirement, being single and sickness absence were significant risk factors for men, whereas having a child <2 years old was significantly protective for women. The relative risks for suicide differed significantly between genders according to psychiatric admission status and being the parent of a child < 2 years. However, adjustment for these factors did not eliminate the gender difference in suicide risk.

Conclusions

Risk factors for suicide differed by gender and gender differences could not be explained by differential exposure to known risk factors.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr Ping Qin, Department of Psychiatric Demography, Institute for Basic Psychiatric Research, Psychiatric Hospital in Aarhus, University Hospital in Aarhus, 8240 Risskov, Denmark. e-mail: qpi@psykiatri.aaa.dk

Footnotes

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See editorial, pp. 484–485, this issue.

Declaration of interest

Sponsored by the Danish Research Council, grant No. 9600264.

Footnotes

References

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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
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Gender differences in risk factors for suicide in Denmark

  • Ping Qin (a1), Esben Agerbo (a1), Niels Westergård-Nielsen (a2), Tor Eriksson (a2) and Preben Bo Mortensen (a1)...
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