SUICIDES IN LITHUANIA: RATES, METHODS AND DISTRIBUTION BY AGE, GENDER AND SETTLEMENT, 2012-2016
INTRODUCTION: According to the World Health Organisation regarding suicide rate, Lithuania was on the top in 2016 with 31.9 suicide events per 100 000 people of the population. This research was aimed at analysing the situation including methods of suicide and its distribution between different age, gender and settlement groups in Lithuania.
METHODS: 4610 particular suicide cases were found and analysed from the given retrospectively collected data by the Hygiene Institute’s Register of Death Causes in Lithuania from 2012 till 2016. These cases have been categorised into age (10-19 years old, 20-69 years old and >70 years old), gender and settlement groups. Chi-squared and Fisher tests were used to analyse the associations between the suicide methods used, sex, as well as age. A significance level of p<0.05 was used.
RESULTS: In total, 4610 suicide cases were registered in Lithuania in 2012-2016. People aged 20-69 years had the biggest proportion with 80%, followed by 16% for people older than 70 and 4% people aged 10-19. 82% of all cases were men. The most common method of suicides in all age groups was hanging, self-strangulation and self-suffocation; 92%. There is no statistical significant difference in methods used by the 10-19 years old group and above 20 years of age (20-70+).
A difference was found between the groups under 70 years and above 70 years old. Moreover, the following difference was found between their genders (p=0.0002). In terms of using drugs and biological substances, women (54.24%) are more likely to commit suicide through these means than men in all age groups, while 100% of suicide methods by gas, steam or solvents were used by men. Though slightly more suicides were registered in cities, there was no statistically significant difference between people living in cities and in villages.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite the fact that incidences of suicides are gradually decreasing every year, the situation is not yet satisfactory. The pattern almost has not changed for years – the most inclinable person to commit suicide is a 50-59 years old man living in a city and the most used method is still hanging.
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