Table 2

Estimates of suicide rates and the contribution of pesticides to suicide in India

Author

Years covered (no. suicides)

Setting

Estimated total (all methods) suicide rate

Estimates of the proportion of suicides (or episodes of self-harm) due to pesticides


Nandi et al. [89]

1976–7 (n = 101)

Districts in West Bengal (rural)

Daspur area: 29 per 100,000

58% due to endrin (a pesticide)

Chandrakona area: 5 per 100,000

37% due to endrin

Bannerjee et al. [90]

1978 (n = 58)

Villages in Deganga, West Bengal (rural)

43 per 100,000

93% suicides due to self-poisoning ("almost exclusively)" organophosphorus pesticides

Shukla et al. [91]

1986–7 (n = 187)

Jhansi City, Uttar Pradesh (urban)

29 per 100,000

10% (insecticides and rat poison).

Bhatia et al. [92]

Not stated (n = 55)

Delhi (urban and rural areas)

-

Only 13% of suicides had self-poisoned (all substances)

Joseph et al. [64]

1994–9 (n = 609)

Villages in Kaniyambadi (rural), Tamil Nadu

95 per 100,000

45% self-poisoning (all substances). 40% of the suicides in 15–19 year olds used pesticides in 1992–2001 [93]

Lalwani et al. [94]

1991–2000 (n = 222)

New Delhi (urban)

-

10–18 year olds: poisoning accounted for 49% of male and 37% female suicides. Pesticides were commonest poisons recorded.

Gururaj et al. [95]

2001–2 (n = 269)

Bangalore (urban)

-

28% (male) and 19% (female) suicides were self-poisoning (all substances).

Kumar et al. [96]

1994–2004 (n = 441)

Mannipal (rural)

-

>55% insecticides

Prasad et al. [65]

2000–2002 (n = 306)

Villages in Kaniyambadi (rural), Tamil Nadu

92 per 100,000

Organophosphorus pesticides accounted for 40.5% of suicides

Mohanty et al. [97]

2000–2003 (n = 588)

Berhampur (rural and urban)

-

30.6% of all suicides were self-poisoning (>70% used pesticides)

Bose et al. [66]

1998–2004 (n = 638)

Villages in Kaniyambadi (rural), Tamil Nadu

82 per 100,000

40% poisoning (majority pesticides)

Sharma et al. [98]

1996–2005 (n = 1421)

Chandigarh (rural and urban)

-

Aluminium phosphide accounts for 24% of all suicides; organophosphorus and organochlorine products 10%

Gajalakshmi et al. [67]

1997–8 (n = 3,249)

Villpuram district (rural), Tamil Nadu

62 per 100,000

53% self-poisoning ("generally involved agrochemicals")

Kumar P et al. [99]

2001 and 2005 (n = 200)

Six districts in rural Punjab

12.4 per 100,000 (2001) 13.1 per 100,000 (2005)

Pesticide/poison used in 77% (154/200) suicides studied.


Reasonable estimate of Indian suicide rate from these data: 40 per 100,000 (lower limit: 10 per 100,000 Indian Police Statistics [58]); upper limit 80 per 100,000 Tamil Nadu [64] [65] [66] [67].

Gunnell et al. BMC Public Health 2007 7:357   doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-357

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