Differences in suicide risk according to living arrangements in Japanese men and women--the Japan Public Health Center-based (JPHC) prospective study

J Affect Disord. 2011 Jun;131(1-3):113-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2010.11.027. Epub 2010 Dec 18.


Background: Living alone has been suggested as a risk factor for suicide. However, the effect on suicide risk of living together with spouse, child(ren) and parent(s) is unclear. This study aims to examine the association between living arrangements with spouse, child(ren), and parent(s) and suicide in a Japanese men and women.

Methods: Altogether 104, 528 participants aged 40-69 years, who completed baseline questionnaire (1990-1994), were followed for death through December 2005. We used Cox proportional hazards regression model to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for suicide according to living arrangements.

Results: During an average 13.2-year follow up, 406 suicidal deaths were recorded. Men living without a spouse and women living with a parent(s) only were at increased risk of suicide than those living with a spouse only. The multivariate HR (95% CI) in men were as follows: "living with a parent(s) only", 1.86 (1.03-3.36); "living with a child(ren) only", 2.20 (1.32-3.66); "living with a parent(s) and child(ren)", 1.95 (1.02-3.72); and "living alone", 1.80 (0.99-3.25); and in women was as follow "living with a parent(s) only", 3.80 (1.90-7.61). Suicide risk was significantly decreased among women living with a spouse and child(ren) as compared with women living with a spouse only (HR 0.58, 95%CI 0.34 to 0.98).

Conclusions: Men living without a spouse and women living with a parent(s) only were at increased risk of suicide. Women living together with a spouse and child(ren) were at decreased risk of suicide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Family Characteristics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Marital Status / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Single Person / statistics & numerical data
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data