Fractures of neck structures in suicidal hanging

Med Sci Law. 1996 Jan;36(1):80-4. doi: 10.1177/002580249603600115.


A prospective study of hanging deaths was performed, and 80 cases of suicidal hanging were registered. The purpose of the study was to register fractures of the bony structures of the neck. The frequency of such fractures ranges from rare to frequent in the literature. Prospective studies give the highest incidence of fractures. Careful dissection and an X-ray cabinet with ready-made film in envelopes were used to register all fractures. There were 73 per cent men and 27 per cent women. The mean age was 38.7 years. The proportion of fractures seemed to increase with age and possibly also with increasing suspension time. The highest frequency of fractures was found in atypical complete hangings.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autopsy
  • Child
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology*
  • Fractures, Bone / pathology
  • Fractures, Cartilage*
  • Humans
  • Hyoid Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Hyoid Bone / injuries*
  • Hyoid Bone / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck / pathology
  • Neck Injuries*
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Thyroid Cartilage / diagnostic imaging
  • Thyroid Cartilage / injuries*
  • Thyroid Cartilage / pathology