Suicide and undetermined deaths among youths and young adults in Latin America: comparison with the 10 major developed countries--a source of hidden suicides?

Crisis. 2008;29(3):145-53. doi: 10.1027/0227-5910.29.3.145.


In Latin American (LA) and the major developed countries' (MDC) suicide and undetermined deaths are analyzed as methods of suicide and the number of undetermined deaths are similar, possibly containing hidden suicides. The goal was to test the likelihood that LA cultural attitudes lead to higher undetermined rates and more hidden suicides. We used 3-year WHO average mortality data to compare LA and MDC mortality by age and gender, and chi2 tests to examine any differences. In 13 LA countries younger-aged (15-34) men and women's suicides were higher than all-age rates, and undetermined deaths exceeded the suicide rates. Nine LA countries had significantly more undetermined younger-aged male deaths than females. Sixteen of 18 LA countries had significantly higher undetermined death rates than the MDC. LA younger-aged malefs24 146s differential suicide: Undetermined rates indicated they may contain substantial numbers of hidden suicides. Inadvertently, cultural attitudes to suicide may hinder prevention.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cause of Death*
  • Developed Countries / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Latin America / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Sex Distribution
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology