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Descriptive epidemiological study of sites of suicide jumps in Taipei, Taiwan


Objective: To identify locations to target for suicide preventive measures to reduce suicide by jumping in Taipei city, Taiwan.

Method: A descriptive study of suicide by jumping from a height was conducted in Taipei, 2002–2005. Information on sites from which suicide jumps occurred was obtained from death certificates as well as ambulance, medical and newspaper records.

Results: Of the 210 jumping suicide deaths with sufficient information on the site of the jump, private residential buildings comprised the highest proportion (67%) of all jumping sites, followed by business office buildings (13%), hospitals (8%) and shopping malls (5%). However, the number of jumping suicides per 1000 sites was highest for hospitals (307 per 1000 hospitals) and shopping malls (275 per 1000 shopping malls) compared with 2 per 1000 for residential buildings. Women and older people who died by jumping were more likely to have jumped from buildings where they lived, compared with men and other age groups.

Conclusion: Although two-thirds of suicides occurred from residential buildings, the sites with the greatest number of jumps per location were hospitals and shopping malls, making them the most cost-effective focus for preventive efforts.

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