Predictors of low-intent and high-intent suicide attempts in rural China

Am J Public Health. 2007 Oct;97(10):1842-6. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.077420. Epub 2007 Mar 29.


Objectives: Acts of suicide are heterogeneous with respect to level of intent. Data on correlates of intent are overwhelmingly from Western samples. We sought to identify correlates of low-intent and high-intent suicide attempts in China.

Methods: We compared 277 adult case patients who presented to the emergency department in a rural hospital because of attempted suicide to 277 community control individuals, pair-matched for age, gender, and location of residence. Attempted suicides were stratified into 3 levels of suicide intent: low, intermediate, and high. Paired logistic regression analyses were used to analyze the data.

Results: High-intent acts of suicide were associated with major depression, chronic stress, and a relative or associate who had a history of suicidal behavior. These correlates were not associated with low-intent acts of suicide.

Conclusions: High-intent acts of suicide in China are the culmination of longstanding difficulties or symptoms including depression, chronic stress, and previous exposure to suicidal behavior. Prevention of high-intent acts of suicide should include a focus on these domains.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • China
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Public Health
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population
  • Sex Distribution
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / classification
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data