Document Detail

Suicides hidden among undetermined deaths.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9761408     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The research phase of the National Suicide Prevention Project in Finland (from 1 April 1987 to 31 March 1988) included medico-legal investigation and psychological autopsy of all deaths suspected of being suicides, including 1397 official suicides and 61 undetermined deaths. In later analyses on suicide, undetermined cases were excluded. This paper presents an analysis of all officially classified undetermined deaths (n = 139) over the study period, consisting of all the initially suspected suicides (n = 61) and the remaining undetermined deaths (n = 78) where suicide could not be excluded. Poisoning by solids or liquids and drowning were the most common causes of all undetermined deaths. Suicidal intent was observed in 87% of undetermined deaths initially suspected of being suicides. In addition, 31% of these subjects had previously attempted suicide, and 34% had made suicidal threats. Depression was diagnosed in 23% of cases and alcohol dependence or abuse in 31% of cases. Undetermined deaths resembled suicides and appeared to reduce the suicide rate by 10%.
A Ohberg; J Lonnqvist
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Acta psychiatrica Scandinavica     Volume:  98     ISSN:  0001-690X     ISO Abbreviation:  Acta Psychiatr Scand     Publication Date:  1998 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1999-01-14     Completed Date:  1999-01-14     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0370364     Medline TA:  Acta Psychiatr Scand     Country:  DENMARK    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  214-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland.
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MeSH Terms
Alcoholism / diagnosis,  mortality
Cause of Death*
Coroners and Medical Examiners
Depressive Disorder / diagnosis,  mortality
Diagnosis, Differential
Expert Testimony
Finland / epidemiology
Middle Aged
Risk Factors
Suicide / prevention & control,  statistics & numerical data*
Suicide, Attempted / prevention & control,  statistics & numerical data

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