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Revista chilena de neuro-psiquiatría

versión On-line ISSN 0717-9227


BAADER M, Tomas et al. Are the prevalence of suicides and their characteristics changing in the Chilean population?: Analysis of suicide rates and their sociodemographic features, occurred in Valdivia province, current Los Ríos Region, from 1996 to 2008. Rev. chil. neuro-psiquiatr. [online]. 2011, vol.49, n.3, pp.273-282. ISSN 0717-9227.

Introduction: Suicide is an important public health problem but largely preventable. In Chile, according to the WHO, in 2003 there was a suicide rate of 10,4 per 100.000 inhabitants with a growing tendency. Objectives: To analyze suicide rates and their sociodemographic features in Los Rios region from 1996-2008. Material and Methods: Autopsy protocols belonging to Valdivia Legal Medical Service, from 1996 to 2008, were reviewed and entered the "suicide cases" to a predetermined pattern. We performed statistical analysis through Microsoft Excel 2007 and PASW Statistics v17.0 programs. Rates were analyzed with the test for difference between proportions and the rest of variables were compared using chisquare test. Results: There were 498 suicides during the studied period. Suicide rates showed a progressive increase, even reaching to 17,2 by 2005. According to gender, 413 deaths were men (82,9%) and 85 women (17,1%); the male/female ratio was 4,86/1. 58,16% were single or widow(er), and 41,84% were married or cohabitants (p < 0,001). The age ranged between 20-34 and 40-49 were prominent (p < 0.001). Women committed suicide more often than men at young ages, a situation which was reversed at older ages. 22,1% were unemployed and 77,9% employed (p < 0.001). Most suicides occurs at home, during daytime, by hanging (p < 0.001) without significant association with alcohol. Conclusions: The reported increase exceeded the national rates. The tendency is correlated to other publications; this is different in the employed status and the association of alcohol at the time of suicide. The numbers oblige further responsibility in their decrease and prevention.

Palabras clave : Suicide; autopsy; Chile.

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