[Prevalence and risk factors of suicide and attempted suicide]

Encephale. 1994 Sep-Oct;20(5):495-503.
[Article in French]


Suicide provocates 0.5 to 1% of the deaths in France. Every year, more than 12,000 people die by suicide. In France, the annual incidence rate of suicide is 21/100,000. Among young people (15 to 24) suicide rate is 13.9/100,000 in men and 4.2/100,000 in women. Methods of suicide are hanging (38%), firegun (23%), overdose (13%) and drowning (10%). Among the suicides, most subjects are unmarried, live alone and more often in Paris. Suicide is more frequent during the day than during the night, in the beginning of the week, in summer and in spring. Suicide rates in France are comparable to those observed in United States and Great Britain. Suicide appears to be closely related to psychiatric morbidity. Most frequent psychiatric diagnosis in patients who commit suicide are depression (64%), alcoholism (15%), schizophrenia (3%) and anxiety (3%). History of depression is associated with a 30 fold increase in suicide risk. Globally, the annual incidence of suicide among depressives is 1% and 15% of the depressives die by suicide. When depressive symptoms are retrospectively assessed, it appears that 45 to 70% of patients who committed suicide presented depression. Depressives older than 50 and patients with history of attempted suicide have a greater risk of suicide. Among schizophrenics, frequency of suicide is 10 to 13%. Suicide are more frequent during the first ten years of the illness. In patients presenting panic disorder, frequency of suicide is variable according to the authors, between 30% and 3%. Attempted suicide are much more frequent than suicide. The annual rate is 162/100,000 in men and 265/100,000 in women.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cause of Death
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / mortality
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Suicide / psychology
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data*