Objective: To examine further suicide attempts and mortality in the 10 years after a suicide attempt requiring hospital admission.
Method: Participants were a consecutive series of 3690 individuals admitted to Christchurch Hospital for attempted suicide during the 10-year period 1993-2002. Data were obtained on admissions to Christchurch Hospital for attempted suicide during the study period. Mortality subsequent to the index suicide attempt was established from the National Mortality Database. The influence of age, gender and method of index suicide attempt on mortality and further suicide attempts requiring hospitalization were examined.
Results: Within 10 years, 28.1% of those who had been admitted for an index suicide attempt were readmitted for a further non-fatal suicide attempt, and 4.6% died by suicide. Risks and rates of readmission were higher in: females; those under 55; and those whose index attempt involved a method of low lethality. Risks and rates of suicide were higher in: males; those aged 25 and over; and those using an index suicide attempt method of high lethality. Risks and rates of readmission and mortality from suicide were highest in the first 2 years after the index attempt, although deaths and readmissions occurred throughout the 10 years study period.
Conclusions: Those making suicide attempts requiring hospital admission are at high risk of further hospitalization for suicide attempt and of death from suicide. These findings suggest a need for ongoing support and monitoring, and for enhanced treatment and management of all those making suicide attempts which require hospital admission in an effort to reduce risks of further suicidal behaviour.