Suicide Among Adults Aged 30-49: A Psychological Autopsy Study in Hong Kong

BMC Public Health. 2008 May 1;8:147. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-8-147.

Abstract

Background: A surge in suicide rates in middle age people in Hong Kong and many Asian countries was recently observed. However, there is a paucity of suicide research on this subgroup of people in Asia.

Methods: The next-of-kin of 85 suicide cases and 85 community subjects aged 30-49 years were interviewed by a psychological autopsy approach. Information was triangulated by interview notes, coroner's court files, and police investigation reports.

Results: A multiple logistic regression analysis identified the following risk factors for suicide among the middle age people in Hong Kong: the presence of at least one psychiatric disorder (OR = 37.5, 95% CI 11.5-121.9, p < 0.001), indebtedness (OR = 9.4, 95% CI 2.2-40.8, p < 0.01), unemployment (OR = 4.8, 95% CI 1.3-17.5, p < 0.05), never married (OR = 4.2, 95% CI 1.1-16.3, p < 0.05), and lived alone (OR = 3.9, 95% CI 1.2-13.4, p < 0.05).

Conclusion: The data show that socio-economical factors had a strong impact on suicide in the target group. Further research is needed to explore any positive qualities that protect the middle-aged from suicide. The prevention of suicide in the middle-aged requires multiple strategies.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Family / psychology
  • Female
  • Hong Kong / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / complications
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data