Core features of suicide: Gender, age, alcohol and other putative risk factors in a low-incidence population

August G. Wang, Tormóður Stórá

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the study was to elucidate some supposed core features of suicide through a study of suicide in a low-incidence population. The material covered all suicides and undetermined deaths 1945-2004 in the Faroe Islands (a low-incidence population) and the study made use of all available information. Results showed that suicide rate had been low since the Second World War. However, there was an increase throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Supposed core features of suicide, such as gender, marital status, former psychiatric admittance, former suicidal behaviour, alcohol and method preference were confirmed. Others were not, such as an increasing rate with old age. In diagnostics, the role of psychiatric disorders was confirmed, but so was a substantial role of "no disorder". Increase period revealed a high proportion of cases with alcohol involved and a substantial part included males, in age groups 25-64 years, unmarried, divorced and alcohol intoxicated. The main conclusion was that a low-incidence population of suicide population confirmed some supposed core features of the suicide phenomenon. Others, related to age and psychiatric disorders, were only partially confirmed. In periods of increase, the most vulnerable were the young and middle-aged males, unmarried, divorced, and alcohol played a crucial role.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-159
Number of pages6
JournalNordic Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Adolescent
  • adults
  • age distribution
  • aged
  • alcoholism
  • comorbidity
  • Denmark
  • females
  • humans
  • Incidence
  • males
  • mental disorders
  • middle aged
  • risk factors
  • sex distribution
  • socioeconomic factors
  • suicide
  • young adults


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