Suicide mortality among Kentucky farmers, 1979-1985

Suicide Life Threat Behav. Summer 1990;20(2):156-63.


Farmers may be at high risk for suicide because of their social environment and because of chemical exposure resulting in neurotoxic effects in the workplace. Age-specific suicide rates are compared for Kentucky white farmers, Kentucky white males, and U.S. white males. Data for suicides occurring in Kentucky represent the 7-year period between 1979 and 1985; data for the United States suicides represent the period 1980. Overall, suicide rates were highest for Kentucky farmers, followed by Kentucky males and then by U.S. males. All males were most likely to use firearms as the mode of suicide, but the farmers used firearms significantly more often than the U.S. males, as did the other Kentucky males. These findings and other evidence support the need to assess suicide rates in this occupational group in other states, to begin suicide prevention programs for Kentucky, and to work to identify risk factors contributing to the Kentucky farm suicides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Agriculture / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kentucky / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*