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First international index developed to predict suicidal behavior
Date:3/9/2011

icant variations around the world. For example, countries in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union have the highest rates (Lithuania, Belarus, the Russian Federation), and a large number of those who die from suicide suffer from mental illnesses.

Other decisive factors involved in suicides being enacted include religion (meaning there are very low suicide rates in Muslim countries), social support and access to weapons or lethal substances.

Below the average but on the rise

In Spain, a country with a traditional Catholic culture with extended families, a relatively low prevalence of mental illnesses and significant restrictions on the use of weapons, suicide rates are low, at half the European average.

"However, this rate is on the rise, while in countries with higher rates it is falling", the researcher warns. In places such as the United States, for every death from suicide there are between three and four hospitalisations resulting from failed suicide attempts, and between 15 and 20 emergency room visits for the same reason.

"Our index for evaluating multiple risks could help to predict suicidal planning and attempts with a fairly high level of precision and help medical specialists to foresee such behaviour", concludes Alonso.


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FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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