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Vol. 48. Issue 2.
Pages 53-59 (April - June 2022)
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Vol. 48. Issue 2.
Pages 53-59 (April - June 2022)
Original Article
Risk factors for completed suicide in young people and middle-aged adults: Population forensic study
Factores de riesgo del suicidio consumado en los jóvenes y los adultos de mediana edad: estudio poblacional forense
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Mikel Aiartzaguenaa, Benito Morentinb,c,d,
Corresponding author
morentin.b@justizia.eus

Corresponding author.
a Facultad de Medicina, Universidad del País Vasco, Leioa, Bizkaia, España
b Servicio de Patología Forense, Bizkaia, Instituto Vasco de Medicina Legal, Bizkaia, Spain
c Biocruces Health Research Institute, Baracaldo, Bizkaia, Spain
d Departamento de Especialidades Médico Quirúrgicas, Universidad del País Vasco, Leioa, Bizkaia, Spain
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Table 1. Descriptive analysis of the population examined: demographic data, suicide mechanisms, clinical data in connection with the suicide and toxicological results (n = 127).
Abstract
Introduction

Suicide is a major public health problem. The objective of this study is to analyse the demographic, clinical, and toxicological characteristics and the mechanisms of suicide in young people and middle-aged adults.

Method

Retrospective population study of completed suicide in subjects aged 14–55 who were subjected to a forensic autopsy in Bizkaia between 2016 and 2018.

Results

272 suicides were recorded. The global incidence was 7.8/100.00 inhabitants/year. 127 were 14–55 years old. The rate was 3 times higher in men and increased with age. In 72%, some clinical risk factor was collected, mainly mental disorders (59%): mood disorders (23%), substance abuse (20.5%), and psychotic disorders (14%). 38% of addicts had another mental disorder. Physical illness (23%) and suicide attempt (20.5%) were also relevant factors. 41% were positive for alcohol and/or illicit drugs: ethanol (22%), cannabis (16%), cocaine (11%), and amphetamine (8%). This percentage was 79% in substance addicts. Substance abuse disorders (25% vs. 6.5%; P = 0.03) and presence of alcohol and/or drugs (49% vs. 16%; P = 0.001) were more prevalent in men. The most commonly used methods were fall from heights (35%) and hanging (31%).

Conclusions

The incidence of suicide in Bizkaia is lower than the European average. Suicide is a complex problem associated with demographic and clinical factors (mainly depressive and substance abuse disorders) and recent use of alcohol and illicit drugs. Prospective multidisciplinary and multicenter researches are required in order to identify risk factors and to guide preventive measures.

Keywords:
Completed suicide
Forensic medicine
Toxicology
Drugs of abuse
Ethanol
Mental health disorder
Prevention
Epidemiology
Resumen
Introducción

El suicidio es un problema importante de salud pública. El objetivo del estudio es analizar las características demográficas, clínicas y toxicológicas, y los métodos del suicidio en jóvenes y adultos de mediana edad.

Método

El estudio fue retrospectivo poblacional del suicidio consumado en sujetos de 14-55 años que fueron objeto de autopsia forense en Bizkaia entre 2016-2018.

Resultados

Se registraron 272 suicidios. La incidencia global fue de 7,8/100.000 habitantes/año. Ciento veintisiete tenían entre 14 y 55 años. La tasa fue 3 veces superior en los varones y se incrementó con la edad. En el 72% se recogió algún factor de riesgo clínico, predominando los trastornos mentales (59%): del estado de ánimo (23%), por abuso de sustancias (20,5%) y psicóticos (14%). El 38% de los adictos tenía otro trastorno mental. La enfermedad física (23%) y el intento de suicidio (20,5%) fueron los factores relevantes. El 41% fueron positivos para sustancias de abuso: etanol (22%), cannabis (16%), cocaína (11%) y anfetamina (8%). Este porcentaje fue del 79% en los adictos a sustancias. Los trastornos por abuso de sustancias (25% vs. 6,5%; p = 0,03) y la presencia de alcohol y/o drogas (49% vs. 16%; p = 0,001) fueron más prevalentes en los varones.

Conclusiones

La incidencia del suicidio en Bizkaia es más baja que la media europea. El suicidio es un problema complejo asociado a factores demográficos, clínicos (principalmente, trastornos depresivos y abuso de sustancias) y al consumo reciente de alcohol y drogas ilegales. Para identificar los factores de riesgo y orientar las medidas preventivas se requieren investigaciones prospectivas multidisciplinares y multicéntricas.

Palabras clave:
Suicidio consumado
Medicina forense
Toxicología
Drogas de abuso
Etanol
Trastorno mental
Prevención
Epidemiología

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