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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

CENDALES, Ricardo et al. Suicide trends in Colombia, 1985-2002. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2007, vol.22, n.4, pp. 231-238. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892007000900002.

OBJECTIVES: To report trends in mortality from suicide in Colombia from 1985 to 2002 by sex, age group, and method, and determine the number of Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL) to suicide during this period. METHODS: Age- and sex-specific and age-adjusted crude mortality rates were calculated based on mortality and population information available from the official database of the Department of National Statistics Administration, Colombia. YPLL were estimated and adjusted for societal impact, age, and poor quality of mortality records. The results were tabulated according to codes X600-X849 and Y870 from the International Statistical Classification of Disease and Related Health Problems, 10th revision (ICD-10), and codes E950-E959 from the 9th revision (ICD-9). RESULTS: Suicide rates have been climbing in Colombia since 1998, particularly among young adults and males. The highest rates among males were in the age groups 20-29 years of age and over 70 years of age, and rates increased over time. Among females, the highest rates were recorded for the group 10-19 years of age. The YPLL rose in proportion with the increase in suicides, from 0.81% in 1981 to 2.20% in 2002. Among males, the most common methods used were firearms and explosives, hanging, and poison, with a relative increase in hanging; whereas among females, poison was most common. CONCLUSIONS: A rising trend in suicide rates in Colombia was confirmed, especially among the productive segment of the population, which has resulted in a marked increase in YPLL.

Keywords : Suicide; mortality; Colombia.

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