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BMC Public Health

, 8:147

First Online: 01 May 2008Received: 06 November 2007Accepted: 01 May 2008DOI: 10.1186-1471-2458-8-147

Cite this article as: Wong, P.W., Chan, W.S., Chen, E.Y. et al. BMC Public Health 2008 8: 147. doi:10.1186-1471-2458-8-147


BackgroundA surge in suicide rates in middle age people in Hong Kong and many Asian countries was recently observed. However, there is a paucity of suicide research on this subgroup of people in Asia.

MethodsThe next-of-kin of 85 suicide cases and 85 community subjects aged 30–49 years were interviewed by a psychological autopsy approach. Information was triangulated by interview notes, coroner-s court files, and police investigation reports.

ResultsA multiple logistic regression analysis identified the following risk factors for suicide among the middle age people in Hong Kong: the presence of at least one psychiatric disorder OR = 37.5, 95% CI 11.5–121.9, p < 0.001, indebtedness OR = 9.4, 95% CI 2.2–40.8, p < 0.01, unemployment OR = 4.8, 95% CI 1.3–17.5, p < 0.05, never married OR = 4.2, 95% CI 1.1–16.3, p < 0.05, and lived alone OR = 3.9, 95% CI 1.2–13.4, p < 0.05.

ConclusionThe data show that socio-economical factors had a strong impact on suicide in the target group. Further research is needed to explore any positive qualities that protect the middle-aged from suicide. The prevention of suicide in the middle-aged requires multiple strategies.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2458-8-147 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Paul WC Wong, Wincy SC Chan, Eric YH Chen, Sandra SM Chan, YW Law and Paul SF Yip contributed equally to this work.

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Autor: Paul WC Wong - Wincy SC Chan - Eric YH Chen - Sandra SM Chan - YW Law - Paul SF Yip


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