Short stature and poor psychological performance: risk factors for attempted suicide among Swedish male conscripts

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1999 Dec;100(6):433-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1999.tb10893.x.


Objective: To investigate potential risk factors of attempted suicide among young male conscripts without previous attempts.

Methods: A nation-wide cohort of young men in Sweden was followed to observe the occurrence of attempted suicide after military-enlistment examination. Information from the examination was linked with data from national hospital in-patient and other registries.

Results: 150,395 Swedish young men born during 1973-75 were followed for up to 2 years. One hundred and fifty-five people made suicide attempts during the follow-up period. Body height, suitability for being an officer and performance in a logic test at the examination were included in a final multivariate Cox regression model, and found to be significantly inversely associated with the risk of attempted suicide.

Conclusion: The results suggest for the first time that short stature and poor psychological performance at conscription examination may be helpful to identify groups with increased risk of attempted suicide during 1-1.5 years after enlistment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Height*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Military Personnel
  • Risk Factors
  • Suicide, Attempted*
  • Sweden