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Socio-economic inequalities in suicide: A European comparative study

  • Vincent Lorant (a1), Anton E. Kunst (a2), Martijn Huisman (a3), Giuseppe Costa (a2) and Johan Mackenbach (a2)...
Abstract
Background

Social factors have been shown to be predictors of suicide. It is not known whether these factors vary between countries.

Aims

To present a first European overview of socio-economic inequalities in suicide mortality among men and women.

Method

We used a prospective follow-up of censuses matched with vital statistics in ten European populations. Directly standardised rates of suicide were computed for each country.

Results

In men, a low level of educational attainment was a risk factor for suicide in eight out often countries. Suicide inequalities were smaller and less consistent in women. In most countries, the greater the socio-economic disadvantage, the higher is the risk of suicide. The population of Turin evidenced no socio-economic inequalities.

Conclusions

Socio-economic inequalities in suicide are a generalised phenomenon in western Europe, but the pattern and magnitude of these inequalities vary between countries. These inequalities call for improved access to psychiatric care for lower socio-economic groups.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Vincent Lorant, Health Sociology and Economics, Catholic University of Louvain, Clos chapelle aux champs 30.41, 1200 Bruxelles, Belgium. Tel: +32 2 764 3263; fax: +32 2 764 3031; e-mail: lorant@sesa.ucl.ac.be
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
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Socio-economic inequalities in suicide: A European comparative study

  • Vincent Lorant (a1), Anton E. Kunst (a2), Martijn Huisman (a3), Giuseppe Costa (a2) and Johan Mackenbach (a2)...
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