Suicide among adults aged 30–49: A psychological autopsy study in Hong Kong
- Equal contributors
1 Hong Kong Jockey Club Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR, P.R. China
2 Centre for the Advancement of University Teaching, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR, P.R. China
3 Department of Psychiatry, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR, P.R. China
4 Department of Psychiatry, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR, P.R. China
5 Department of Social Work and Social Administration, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR, P.R. China
BMC Public Health 2008, 8:147 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-147Published: 1 May 2008
A surge in suicide rates in middle age people in Hong Kong and many Asian countries was recently observed. However, there is a paucity of suicide research on this subgroup of people in Asia.
The next-of-kin of 85 suicide cases and 85 community subjects aged 30–49 years were interviewed by a psychological autopsy approach. Information was triangulated by interview notes, coroner's court files, and police investigation reports.
A multiple logistic regression analysis identified the following risk factors for suicide among the middle age people in Hong Kong: the presence of at least one psychiatric disorder (OR = 37.5, 95% CI 11.5–121.9, p < 0.001), indebtedness (OR = 9.4, 95% CI 2.2–40.8, p < 0.01), unemployment (OR = 4.8, 95% CI 1.3–17.5, p < 0.05), never married (OR = 4.2, 95% CI 1.1–16.3, p < 0.05), and lived alone (OR = 3.9, 95% CI 1.2–13.4, p < 0.05).
The data show that socio-economical factors had a strong impact on suicide in the target group. Further research is needed to explore any positive qualities that protect the middle-aged from suicide. The prevention of suicide in the middle-aged requires multiple strategies.