The two major aims of this study were (1) to assess senior medical students'knowledge of the age pattern of suicides in Australia, and (2) to note changes in the pattern of suicide in recent years.
(1) Two groups of medical students were asked to graph the age distribution of Australian male and female suicides. (2) Suicide statistics (up to 1994) were provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
(1) Only 40% of the 75 medical students were aware that suicide in Australia is much more frequent among males.
Only two of the 75 drew graphs that were similar to the true pattern. (2) The male rate of suicide at age 20-40 years was almost 35 per 100 000 in 1989-94 ; above 80 years it was nearly 40 per 100 000.
The female suicide rate of all age groups from 20 years to late old age was about 7 per 100 000.
The most striking changes in method of suicide in Australia in recent years have been the doubling of male rates of suicide by hanging and car exhaust fumes, increases being greater in younger age groups.
Elderly females are more likely than younger females to use hanging as a means of suicide.
Male suicide rates peak in young adulthood and (higher) in late old age.
Senior medical students were unaware of the true age and sex patterns of suicide in Australia.
Treating depressions and preventing suicides of elderly people (as well as of young people) should be top priorities.
Mots-clés Pascal : Epidémiologie, Méthode, Suicide, Age, Evolution, Sexe, Australie, Océanie, Adolescent, Homme, Adulte jeune, Adulte, Vieillard
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Epidemiology, Method, Suicide, Age, Evolution, Sex, Australia, Oceania, Adolescent, Human, Young adult, Adult, Elderly
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 97-0260026
Code Inist : 002B18C11. Création : 11/06/1997.