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. 2016 Jul;31(7):685-90.
doi: 10.1007/s10654-016-0154-6. Epub 2016 May 11.

Suicide in Married Couples in Sweden: Is the Risk Greater in Same-Sex Couples?

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Suicide in Married Couples in Sweden: Is the Risk Greater in Same-Sex Couples?

Charlotte Björkenstam et al. Eur J Epidemiol. .
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Abstract

Minority sexual orientation is a predictor of suicide ideation and attempts, though its association with suicide mortality is less clear. We capitalize on Sweden's extensively linked databases, to investigate whether, among married individuals, same-sex marriage is associated with suicide. Using a population-based register design, we analyzed suicide risk among same-sex married women and men (n = 6456), as compared to different-sex married women and men (n = 1181723) in Sweden. We selected all newly partnered or married individuals in the intervening time between 1/1/1996 and 12/31/2009 and followed them with regard to suicide until 12/31/2011. Multivariate Poisson regression was used to calculate adjusted incidence risk ratios (IRR) with 95 % confidence intervals (CI). The risk of suicide was higher among same-sex married individuals as compared to different-sex married individuals (IRR 2.7, 95 % CI 1.5-4.8), after adjustment for time at risk and socioeconomic confounding. Sex-stratified analyses showed a tentatively elevated risk for same-sex married women (IRR 2.5, 95 % CI 0.8-7.7) as compared to different-sex married women. Among same-sex married men the suicide risk was nearly three-fold greater as compared to different-sex married (IRR 2.895 % CI 1.5-5.5). This holds true also after adjustment for HIV status. Even in a country with a comparatively tolerant climate regarding homosexuality such as Sweden, same-sex married individuals evidence a higher risk for suicide than other married individuals.

Keywords: Gay; Homosexual; LGBT; Lesbian; Marriage; Registered partnership; Sexual minority; Suicide.

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