Comparative analysis of suicide, accidental, and undetermined cause of death classification

Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2014 Jun;44(3):304-16. doi: 10.1111/sltb.12079.


Suicide determination is not standardized across medical examiners, and many suspected suicides are later classified as accidental or undetermined. The present study investigated patterns between these three groups using a medical examiner database and 633 structured interviews with next of kin. There were similarities across all three classification groups, including rates of mental illness and psychiatric symptoms. Those classified suicide were more likely to be male, to have died in a violent fashion, and have a stronger family history of suicide. Chronic pain was very common across all three groups, but significantly higher in the accidental and undetermined groups.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents / mortality*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cause of Death*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Death Certificates
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Qualitative Research
  • Suicide* / classification
  • Young Adult