Suicide in Indigenous people in Queensland, Australia: trends and methods, 1994–2007

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Title Suicide in Indigenous people in Queensland, Australia: trends and methods, 1994–2007
Author De Leo, Diego; Sveticic, Jerneja; Milner, Allison Joy
Journal Name Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Editor G.S. Malhi
Year Published 2011
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications Ltd.
Abstract Objective: Suicide among Indigenous Australians is a well-recognized public health issue. Due to scarcity of epidemiological investigations in this area the exact size of this problem and its main characteristics remain uncertain. In this paper we present trends and methods of Indigenous suicides based on the Queensland Suicide Register for the period 1994–2007. Methods: Trends of age-standardized suicide rates were calculated for Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations. Suicide methods were compared between the two groups, with particular focus on hanging. Discriminant analysis was used to ascertain the size of under-estimation of suicide rates due to a considerable number of cases with unknown ethnicity in the Queensland Suicide Register. Results: Between 1994 and 2007, Indigenous populations had suicide rates 2.2 times higher than non-Indigenous Australians. Age-specific suicide rates for Indigenous men were highest in the 25 – 34 age group, while in women they were highest among 15 – 24 year olds. In children younger than 15 years, Indigenous suicide rate was almost ten times higher than of non-Indigenous counterparts. More than 90% of Indigenous suicides occurred by hanging. It was estimated that lack of information about ethnicity for 7% of suicide cases might have caused an under-estimation of Indigenous suicide mortality for 15.4% in men and 9.1% in women in the period 1994–2007. Conclusions: Suicide mortality of Indigenous Australians has reached alarming levels, particularly among youths. The unique profile of Indigenous suicides indicates the need for specifically tailored preventative programmes. Read More:
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI
Volume 45
Issue Number 7
Page from 532
Page to 538
ISSN 0004-8674
Date Accessioned 2011-09-27
Language en_US
Research Centre Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention
Faculty Griffith Health Faculty
Subject Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health; Mental Health
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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