Ageing towards 21 as a risk factor for young adult suicide in the UK and Ireland.
AffiliationDepartment of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy & Mental Health Research, St Vincent's University Hospital, School of Medicine & Medical Science, University College Dublin, Ireland.
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CitationAgeing towards 21 as a risk factor for young adult suicide in the UK and Ireland. 2012:1-5 Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci
JournalEpidemiology and psychiatric sciences
AbstractAims. Youth and young adult suicide has increasingly appeared on international vital statistics as a rising trend of concern in age-specific mortality over the past 50 years. The reporting of suicide deaths in 5-year age bands, which has been the international convention to date, may mask a greater understanding of year-on-year factors that may accelerate or ameliorate the emergence of suicidal thoughts, acts and fatal consequences. The study objective was to identify any year-on-year period of increased risk for youth and young adult suicide in the UK and Ireland. Methods. Collation and examination of international epidemiological datasets on suicide (aged 18-35) for the UK and Ireland 2000-2006 (N = 11 964). Outcome measures included the age distribution of suicide mortality in international datasets from the UK and Ireland, 2000-2006. Results. An accelerated pattern of risk up to the age of 20 for the UK and Ireland which levels off moderately thereafter was uncovered, thus identifying a heretofore unreported age-related epidemiological transition for suicide. Conclusions. The current reporting of suicide in 5-year age bands may conceal age-related periods of risk for suicide. This may have implications for suicide prevention programmes for young adults under age 21.
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