Objectives: This article examines suicide deaths among Canadians aged 10 or older between 1979 and 1998. It also examines hospital records for 1998/99 to provide some insight into suicide attempts.
Data sources: Data are mainly from the Vital Statistics Database, the Hospital Morbidity Database, and the Person-oriented Information Database. Supplementary data are from the Adult Correctional Services and Homicide surveys, the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, and the World Health Organization.
Analytical techniques: Age-standardized rates for suicide deaths and hospitalized suicide attempts were calculated by sex and province/territory for Canadians aged 10 or older. Age- and sex-specific rates for suicide deaths and parasuicide-related hospitalizations were also calculated for seven age groups.
Main results: The suicide death rate remained fairly stable between 1979 and 1998. The suicide rate of males was four times that of females, but females were hospitalized for attempted suicide at about one and a half times the rate of males. In 1998/99, about 9% of individuals who were hospitalized for an attempted suicide had been discharged more than once for a suicide attempt the same year.