Karolinska Institutet logoSuicide is seemingly one of the most common causes of death among those aged between 15 and 44. Previous analysis highlighted that people who attempted suicide before were at greater risk of taking their own lives. However other known factors are psychiatric disorders and drug abuse. A new study from Karolinska Institute examined people who attempted suicide and compared groups who adopted various methods for their attempted suicide.

Findings reveal that the risk of successful suicide is specifically greater among those who attempted suicide by hanging, drowning, jumping from a height or those using firearms. Suicide was expected to increase six times more after a hanging attempt,and four times greater after a drowning attempt as compared to poisoning attempt which was the most uncommon method.

Professor Bo Runeson, who worked on the study shares, “The results may be of help in acute risk assessment following a suicide attempt. There are a number of important factors, including psychiatric disorder and suicidal intention, but it’s important also to factor in whether the person chose a violent method when assessing the short- and long-term risk.”

The study included 50,000 people who were hospitalized post a suicide attempt during the period 1973-82. The follow-up period went until 2003; experts observed that 12% participants successfully committed suicide. Findings may assist in acute risk assessment following a suicide attempt.

The results were published in the British Medical Journal.