A Community Survey on the Prevalence of Suicidal Attempts and Deaths in a Selected Rural Area of Bangladesh
Background : Suicide is a public health problem too often neglected by researchers, health policy makers and the medical profession. In the year 2000, approximately one million people died of suicide which represents a global mortality rate of 16 per 100,000. According to WHO estimates for the year 2020 and based on current trends approximately 1.53 million people will die from suicide and 10-20 times more people will attempt suicide worldwide. The aim of this study was to describe the community prevalence of suicidal attempts and deaths in rural area of Bangladesh and to find out the relationship between suicide and socio-demographic variables.
Study Design and Setting : A Community based survey was carried out by members of the Department of Medicine, Shaheed Suhrawardi Medical College and Hospital at Mominpur union under Sadar Upazilla of district Chuadanga. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS 16.
Results : A total of 3551 households were surveyed covering 12422 individuals. A total of 35 individuals attempted suicide in last one year and of them 16 died and rest of he 19 survived. One year incidence of suicidal attempt in the study area was 281.8 per thousand population and the incidence of suicidal deaths was 128.8 per 100000 population. Median age of the people attempted or committed suicide was 30.36(range12 to 70 years). Most (42.9%) suicide was attempted by people at their twenties (20–29 years). Male to female ratio was around 1:4. Around 33.3% of the people who attempted or committed suicide studied up to secondary level, 28.6% studied up to primary level. Most (55.2%) of the people who committed or attempted suicide were housewives,10.3% were daily basis worker, 6.9% were students, another 6.9% engaged in agricultural work and 3.4% were disabled. Majority (45.7%) of the people who committed or attempted suicide was of lower class, 37.1% were of lower middle class, 14.3% were of middle class and 2.9% were of upper class. Majority (82.9%) of the person attempted suicide or died of suicide were married. Around 57% had discord in the family, around 23% had at least one relative died of suicide, around 17% of them were suffering from chronic diseases. Two of them were substance abuser. One of them had preexisting mental disorder, two (5.8%) were orphan and around seven (20%) made an attempt before the current one.
Conclusion: Community survey in a rural area of South-West Bangladesh revealed that suicide is a major cause of mortality, especially in young females. Although this study results were from a small population of a community, the high rate of deaths from suicide are alarming and warrants further studies in regional and national level to find out the risk factors.
JOM 2012; 13(1): 3-9
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