Age-Sex Differences in Suicide Patterns Across the Americas

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Title
Age-Sex Differences in Suicide Patterns Across the Americas
Contributors
Brown, Melanie Y (Author)
Kohn, Robert (Author)
Brown University. Alpert Medical School. Scholarly Concentration Program. Global Health (research program)
Date Created
2018
Abstract
Background: Globally, suicide is a leading cause of mortality. Epidemiologic studies of suicide in the Americas as a region are lacking, particularly how suicide across the lifespan has changed over time. Objectives: To describe patterns in suicide rates in male and females over the lifespan in four subregions of the Americas, along with the changes these patterns undergo over time. Methods: This epidemiologic descriptive study was conducted using yearly mortality data reported to the Pan American Health Organization by individual member states from 1990-2009, categorized by age, sex, and cause of death. Suicide rate patterns were described using the following: 1. The countries of the Americas were divided into four subregions. 2. Populations were divided into summative age ranges: 10-19, 20-24, 25-44, 45-59, 60-69, and 70 and older. 3. Four 5-year periods between 1990-2009 were created to measure changes in suicide patterns over time. 4. The male/female ratio was used to compare male and female suicide rates. Male and female suicide rates were calculated for each age range within each subregion and 5-year period. Age-stratified male/female ratios were then calculated. Results: The male/female suicide ratio ranged from 1.98 to 8.64. Of all groups, the highest suicide rates were found in North American men age 70 and older in the early 1990s, at 43.3 per 100,000. Among all females, the highest suicide rate has been found to be 8.4 per 100,000 in North American females aged 45-59 in 2005-2009. In all subregions of the Americas, elderly men have the highest rates of suicide. Male rates of suicide, female rates of suicide, and the male/female mortality ratio remain relatively stable across time in each subregion of the Americas. Conclusions: Male/female ratio of suicide, in particular for those over age 70, is greater in North America than in other subregions of the Americas. Male and female suicide patterns differ across geographic regions beyond the well-established differences in suicide rates. Age-related patterns of suicide appear to hold stable across time.
Keywords
Suicide
Sex differences
Pan American Health Organization
Notes
Scholarly concentration: Global Health
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Citation

Brown, Melanie Y., and Kohn, Robert, "Age-Sex Differences in Suicide Patterns Across the Americas" (2018). Summer Research Showcase. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library. https://repository.library.brown.edu/studio/item/bdr:833826/

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